Speed skating at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games
Speed skating at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will be contested from Feb. 10-24, with medals awarded in fourteen different events.
Sochi in review
The Dutch speed skaters owned the Sochi Olympics, winning eight out of 12 available gold medals. Claiming at least one medal in every event and sweeping the podium four times, the Dutch collected a total of 23 medals. The second-most successful country, Poland, won three. The biggest Dutch stars were Sven Kramer, who earned two gold medals and a silver, and Ireen Wuest, whose five total medals were the most won by a single Olympian in any sport in Sochi.
While the Dutch dominated, the U.S. despaired: for the first time since the 1984 Olympics, the U.S. speed skating team failed to win a single medal in Sochi.
Shani Davis hoped to become the first U.S. man to win the same event at three consecutive Winter Olympics, but instead finished 8th in his signature race, the 1000m. Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe were similarly favored in the women's 1000m, only to finish far off the podium.
The U.S.' highest finish was sixth in the women's team pursuit.
What happened? Many athletes blamed the Mach 39 skin suits, which were specially designed for the U.S. team by Under Armour but had never been tested in competition. Mid-Games, the U.S. speed skating federation allowed the athletes to switch back to the suits they'd worn during the World Cup season, but results didn't improve. In a post-Olympic review, the U.S. federation found that while the suits weren't defective, it was a disadvantage for the athletes to race in a suit they weren't familiar with. Too much travel and training at high altitudes (the Sochi ice rink was at sea level) were also named as factors in the team's dismal performance.
Under Armour and U.S. Speedskating will continue their partnership through the PyeongChang Olympics to 2022.
Other noteworthy winners in Sochi were Zhang Hong, who became the first Chinese speed skater to win an Olympic gold, and Zbigniew Brodka of Poland, who was the only non-Dutch male speed skater to win gold in Sochi. He edged out Koen Verweij of the Netherlands by 0.003 seconds to finish first in the 1500m.
Speed skaters will compete across the following fourteen events, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to the top three finishers, respectively, in each event.
A new event, mass start, will make its debut at the PyeongChang Olympics. In mass start, a maximum of 24 skaters will begin the race simultaneously and continue for 16 laps. Long track speed skaters race against each other in pairs in the other individiual events.
- Men’s 500m
- Men's 1000m
- Men's 1500m
- Men's 5000m
- Men's 10,000m
- Men's mass start
- Men's team pursuit
- Women's 500m
- Women's 1000m
- Women's 1500m
- Women's 3000m
- Women's 5000m
- Women's mass start
- Women's team pursuit
Speed skating events will be held at the Gangneung Oval, part of the Gangneung Olympic Park during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.
Athletes to watch
Bart Swings, Belgium
Denny Morrison, Canada
Jan Blokhuijsen, Netherlands
Sven Kramer, Netherlands
Kjeld Nuis, Netherlands
Pavel Kulizhnikov, Russia
Shani Davis, United States
Joey Mantia, United States
Zhang Hong, China
Martina Sablikova, Czech Republic
Jorien ter Mors, Netherlands
Ireen Wuest, Netherlands
Lee Sang Hwa, South Korea
Brittany Bowe, United States
Heather Richardson-Bergsma, United States
What you need to know for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games
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