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MAIN Arrow to Sports Sports Arrow to Olympics Olympic Games Arrow to Olympics Short Track Olympic Short Track Skating

Olympic Short Track Speed Skating
© LaPresse

Best described as a free-for-all on ice, Short Track skating is a blur of arms and legs pumping furiously around a narrow oval - only slowing slightly when skaters round the sharp turns at high speeds.

First entered as an Olympic event at Albertiville in 1992, Short Track has quickly risen as a star attraction to thrill spectators at the modern Winter Games.

Short track races first caught on after speed skating became an established amateur sport, at about the time the first long-track world championships were held in 1889. Three years later, the International Skating Union was founded in Holland to further the sport and provide international governing rules.


Canada - CBC Olympics CBC

February 2018 Olympic Short Track Skating Schedule & Medal Events
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short track speed skating     event final     event final       event final     event final   event final      

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However, short track only came into its own in the late 1970's, with the first unofficial Short Track world championships, hosted in Quebec, Canada soon followed by the first official Short Track World Championships in Paris in 1981.

In 1988, short track debuted at the Calgary Games as a demonstration sport and only became an official Winter Olympic Sport in 1992 in Albertville.

Short track speed skating consists of eight events in which skaters compete not against the clock, but against each other. Men and women skate in 500m, 1000m, and 1500m races, along with a a 5000m relay for men, and a 3000m relay for women.

Currently the strongest national competitors in the Short Track events hail from Canada, South Korea, US, Japan and Italy.

DID YOU KNOW? Olympic short track fun facts


• At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Haralds Silovs of Latvia became the first skater in Olympic history to participate in both short track (1500m) and long track (5000m) speed skating, and the first athlete to compete in two different disciplines on the same day.

• Australian short track skater Steven Bradbury is known for one of the most improbable wins in Olympic history. In the final at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, favorite Apollo Anton Ohno and the three other skaters collided in an epic crash. The slower Bradbury skated right past the four skaters to cross the finish line, becoming Australia's first gold medalist in the Winter Olympics.


More about Olympic short track speed skating around the Web:

International Olympic Committee - Short Track Speed Skating - Overview of the short track competitions, list of events, Olympic records, athlete profiles, picture gallery, related links.

U.S. Speedskating - The national governing body's official site offering headline news, schedule of long and short track events, speedskating facts and info, membership details.

 

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