Speed skating

2010-02-08 18:11 BJT

Speed skating emerged on the canals of Holland as early as the 13th century — a time when iron skates on wooden soles served as a mode of transportation. Competitive racing is known to have been held in Holland as early as 1676. In the early 19th century, the Dutch shared the concept of speed skating with their European neighbours.

Speed skating has been part of the Olympic Games since the first Winter Games were held in Chamonix in 1924. Originally, only men took part in competition. At the Lake Placid 1932 Games, however, women’s speed skating was a demonstration event and became a full medal event at the Squaw Valley 1960 Olympic Winter Games.

Speed skating is the fastest human powered, non-mechanical aided sport in the world. Skaters can reach speeds of more than 60 kilometres per hour.

How It Works

Speed skating takes place on a 400 metre oval ice rink. Timed to one-hundredth of a second, athletes compete in pairs, skating counter-clockwise around the oval and changing lanes once per lap, to equalize the distance covered. The skater in the outside lane has the right-of-way at the crossover if the skaters arrive at the changeover point at the same time.

Team Pursuit

Team pursuit was first introduced as an Olympic event at the Torino 2006 Winter Games. In this event, two teams of three athletes begin, simultaneously, on each side of the track. Team members take turns leading, with the remaining athletes following closely behind the leader to take advantage of the air currents. The team completes the race when the final team member crosses the finish line. The competition consists of elimination rounds, leading to a final race.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: vancouver2010.com