LEARN ABOUT SPEED SKATING
Ours is a sport of contrasts — with two similar, yet very different disciplines — where skaters reach mind-blowing speeds of 60 km/h with the power of their own kinetic energy. Strap on a pair of skates and enjoy the grace and power of long track or the high-flying precision of short track. Compete individually and as part of a team, racing in a pack or against the clock. Speed skating is the simplicity of a race to the finish, but the journey to the end is anything but straightforward.
Let’s take it to the ice.
Combining speed, strategy and technique, short track speed skating is what racing is all about. Originating in North America in the early 1900s, international competitions began in the 1970s and the sport joined the Olympic programme in 1992. Races are contested pack-style, typically with four to six skaters flying counterclockwise around the tight corners of a 111.12m oval track, built on a hockey rink. Skaters execute well-timed passes — all while avoiding collisions and spills — in 500m, 1000m and 1500m individual races, as well as in team relays.
Consistent, powerful strides and masterful technique is what sets long track speed skating apart. One of the original winter Olympic sports in 1924, organized international competitions have been taking place for over 125 years. Racing in pairs — counterclockwise on a two-lane 400m oval track — skaters race against the clock in a bid to record the fastest time over distances ranging from 500m to 10,000m, as well as in Team Sprint, Team Pursuit and Mass Start events. From first to final lap, long track keeps skaters on the edge of their blades, and spectators on the edge of their seats.