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Short track at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games

Short track speed skaters at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Short track at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games

What you need to know about short track at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games

Short track at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will be contested from Feb. 10-22, with medals awarded in eight different events.

Sochi in review


Russia's Viktor Ahn skated through heavy controversy to become Sochi's most decorated short track athlete. Ahn competed for South Korea and won four medals at the 2006 Olympics, then left his home country, claiming lack of support, to become a Russian citizen in 2011. Representing the host nation in Sochi, Ahn won three golds (500m, 1000m and 1500m relay) and a bronze medal (1500m). With eight total medals, he tied Apolo Ohno's record for most Olympic medals won by a short track skater.

Ohno was the face of the U.S. short track team for three Olympics, but retired before the Sochi Games. Without him, the U.S. team not only couldn't match Vancouver's six-medal haul, but they also came close to leaving the 2014 Games empty-handed. Both J.R. Celski and Eddy Alvarez slipped and fell in the 500m race, and Celski slid out of contention again in the 1000m quarterfinal. 

In the final short track race of the 2014 Olympics, the U.S. men overcame their struggles to win a silver medal in the 5000m relay event.

5000m relay short track speed skating at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

From left: J.R. Celski, Jordan Malone, Eduardo Alvarez, and Chris Creveling after finishing second in the men's 5000m relay final. Credit: USA TODAY Sports


South Korean women claimed five medals in Sochi, including the coveted gold in the 3000m relay and an individual gold for Park Seung-hi in the 1000m. 

Chinese athletes claimed first place in the other two women's events. Li Jianrou won China's fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 500m, finishing first by nearly six secondsbecause during the first lap of the final, her three other competitors crashed. 

Li Jianrou short track speed skater at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

China's Li Jianrou (in red) stays upright as her competitors fall in the 500m finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Credit: USA Today

The U.S. women didn't make a single short-track podium, with Jessica Kooreman (nee Smith) coming close with a fourth-place finish in the 1000m and Emily Scott placing fifth in the 1500m. 

Competition format

Skaters will compete across the following eight events, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to the top three finishersrespectively, in each event:

  • Men's 500m
  • Men's 1000m
  • Men's 1500m
  • Men's 5000m relay
  • Women's 500m
  • Women's 1000m
  • Women's 1500m
  • Women's 3000m relay

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Short track events will be held at the Gangneung Ice Arena, part of the Gangneung Olympic Park within the Gangneung coastal cluster. Constructed specifically for the 2018 Games, the arena will also play host to figure skating.

Gangneung Ice Arena

Credit: PyeongChang 2018

Athletes to watch

 Charles Hamelin, Canada
 Wu Dajing, China
 Han Tianyu, China
 Sandor Liu Shaolin, Hungary
 Viktor Ahn, Russia
 J.R. Celski, United States
 John-Henry Krueger, United States

 Marianne St-Gelais, Canada
 Fan Kexin, China
 Elise Christie, Great Britain
 Choi Min-Jeong, South Korea
 Shim Suk-Hee, South Korea
 Jessica Kooreman, United States
 Katherine Reutter, United States

What you need to know for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games

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