Olympics 2014: Speedskating

Speedskating Finish

Stefan Groothuis (L) from The Netherlands and Jamie Gregg (R) from Canada during the men’s 1000 competition of the Speed Skating World Cup in the Thialf stadium in Heerenveen, The Netherlands, 09 March 2013. Jerry Lampen/ANP/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: anpsports001484

During the upcoming 2014 Olympics there will be 98 different medal events. A total of 12 will take place on the ice at Adler Arena home of the long track speedskating which is one of the biggest sports to compete in the winter games.

Speedskating is also one of the oldest Winter Olympic sports. Years after first skating down frozen rivers, people in Scandinavia and the Netherlands started to do it for fun and sport in the late 16th century. It continued to grow in popularity across Europe and North America. At the first Olympics speedskating had five events: the 500 meters, 1500 meters, 5000 meters, 10,000 meters and the all-round. All continue to be competed with the exception of all-round. Women have been competing in speedskating since the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley.

In nearly all of the events there are only two skaters on the ice who skate in lanes but switch lanes each lap to keep the distance even. The two exceptions is the marathon and team pursuit. The marathon is a group start over a long distance like 40k or 200k. The marathon is not yet an Olympic event. The team pursuit was added in the 2006 games and features two teams lined up across the ice from each other and race to finish 8 laps first or avoid being chased down by the other team.

Sochi Speedskating

Eriko Ishino of Japan competes during the women’s 5000m event at the Essent ISU World Single Distances Championships 2013 in Sochi March 23, 2013. GRIGORY DUKOR/REUTERS/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: rtrlfive807208

Speedskating mass start

Jordan Belchos from Canada during the men’s mass start of the Speed Skating World Cup in the Thialf stadium in Heerenveen, The Netherlands, 10 March 2013. Jerry Lampen/ANP/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: anpsports001525

German Team Pursuit

German speed skaters Claudia Pechstein (L-R), Stephanie Beckert and Bente Kraus in action during the team pursuit race of the Speed Skating World Cup in Erfurt, Germany, 03 March 2013. Martin Schutt/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: dpaphotos862081

The United States own the most gold in Speedskating with 29, but the Netherlands and Norway are usually the teams to watch with 82 and 80 total medals respectively. The Netherlands won 8 of the 14 events at the 2013 Essent ISU World Single Distances Championships including a sweep of the men’s 10,000m. American speed skater Shani Davis will make a third attempt to win the Olympics 1500m event after coming up just short in Vancouver and Turin. Davis did win gold in the 1000m in each of those Olympics.

American Speed Skater Shani Davis

Shani Davis of the USA is on his way to win the silver medal in the men’s 1,500m competition at the ISU Speed Skating World Single Distances Championships at the Adler Arena Speed Skating Center in Sochi, Russia, 21 March 2013. MAXIM SHIPENKOV/EPA/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: epaphotos796652

Come February the action will be faced paced and exciting across all 12 days of competition. It will be here before we know it. To prepare and see many more great speedskating photos check out Newscom.

Speedskating at Sochi

Third placed Ivan Skobrev of Russia reacts on the podium during the medal ceremony after the men’s 5000m event at the Essent ISU World Single Distances Championships 2013 in Sochi March 22, 2013. GRIGORY DUKOR/REUTERS/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: rtrlfive805242

Sochi Speedskating home

A view of Adler Arena during the Speed skating World Cup Essent ISU World Single Distances Speedskating Championships. imago sportfotodienst/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: imagosports813790

Women's 500m

Sang-Hwa Lee of South Korea competes during the women’s 500m event at the Essent ISU World Single Distances Championships 2013 in Sochi March 24, 2013. GRIGORY DUKOR/REUTERS/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: rtrlfive808787

Speed skater fall

Canada’s Christine Nesbitt falls during the women’s team pursuit at the ISU Speed Skating World Single Distances Championships at the Adler Arena Speed Skating Center in Sochi, Russia, 24 March 2013. MAXIM SHIPENKOV/EPA/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: epaphotos800658

Sablikova celebration

Czech Republic’s Martina Sablikova reacts as she competes in the women’s 5000m event during the 2013 World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Sochi on March 23, 2013. Sablikova won gold. YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: afplivefive011617

Team Pursuit

Men’s team pursuit competition during the Essent ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships at Adler Arena in Sochi. imago sportfotodienst/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: imagosports813780

Inside Adler Arena

A view of inside of Adler Arena during the Speed skating World Cup Essent ISU World Single Distances Speedskating Championships. imago sportfotodienst/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: imagosports813791

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