Speed skating is a form of competitive ice skating where athletes race against each other and the clock around a 400m indoor oval track. 

Athletes are ranked based on time taken to skate the prescribed distance. Most individual events are skated in pairs, though finish order among the two paired skaters is not especially relevant beyond time. The exception to this is the mass start event, the newest edition to the Winter Olympics. The team pursuit event is head-to-head, single elimination.

Speed staking has been included at every Winter Olympics since 1924. The Netherlands, where speed skating competitions were first held in the 19th century, is historically the most successful speed staking nation, having won over 20% of all speed skating medals at the Winter Olympics.

Competition format

From the mass start to the team pursuit, learn how each Olympic speed skating race will be contested.


From false starts to the finish line, the rules of speed skating at the Winter Olympics.


From clap skates to speed suits, what the speed skaters will be using at the Winter Olympics.


Read up on the National Speed Skating Oval, a venue of the 2022 Winter Olympics.


Learn who's set to represent Team USA in speed staking at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Olympic history

From Swedish bone skates in 700s to the competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics.


Learn the language of speed staking at the 2022 Winter Olympics.