On This Day

What Happened on February 23, 1980

Historical Events

World Record

American speed skater Eric Heiden wins Olympic 10,000m in world record 14:28.13; sweeps all 5 speed skating events at Lake Placid; only athlete to win 5 gold medals at one Winter Games

  • France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • Oil tanker explosion off Pilos, Greece, causes 37-mil-gallon spillage
  • Olympic giant slalom champion Hanni Wenzel of Liechtenstein wins the women's slalom, her second gold medal of the Lake Placid Winter Games
  • Soviet cross-country skier Nikolay Zimyatov wins his 3rd gold medal of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics when he takes out the 50k event; also wins 30k and relay gold

Famous Birthdays

  • Rafael Payare, Venezuelan conductor (San Diego Symphony, 2019-present), born in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela
  • Yvonne Tousek, Canadian gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Kitchener, Ontario

Famous Deaths

  • Enrico Celio, Swiss lawyer and President of Switzerland (1943), dies at 90
  • Robert Vandekerckhove, Belgian politician, dies at 62
1980 Highlights

About February 23, 1980

Day of the Week: Saturday
How Long Ago? 41 years, 9 months and 4 days
Leap Year: Yes

Generation: Generation X
Chinese Zodiac: Monkey
Star Sign: Pisces