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Understanding Olympic Speed Skating

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Another Olympic event that is not for the weak of heart is Speed skating. In this sport, the skaters propel themselves at high speeds very close to each other that there is a big chance for collision and injuries. You must imagine what it’s like to hit the side wall or the ice at high speeds. It is like being in a car crash. Yet this sport is still very popular and has been since the early days of the 20th century when the first competitions were held.

The first speed skating World Championships were held in 1981 in France. Since then, the sport enjoyed a yearly increase in its popularity and participation. In short track speed skating, the competitors are racing against 4 to 6 other athletes on the rink that is as big as a standard hockey rink. There are cones on the rink that mark where the skater should stay within or they face elimination. A series of “heats” or races takes place wherein two of the fastest skaters move on to the next heat. These heats go on until the field is reduced to just the final skaters who will compete for the race medals.

Short track relays comprise 2 teams with 4 members each who have replacements who come in when they are needed. The player cannot start skating until he is tagged by the skater he is replacing. The male skaters race 5,000 meters while the women 3,000 meters.

Apollo Ohno, a US favorite kept up a demanding training regimen preparing for these winter games at Vancouver. When he joined, he already had 5 medals and hoped to win 2 more which will make him the US Olympic athlete that has the most medals. During the games, he realized this amazing achievement and added a bronze and gold to his remarkable collection.

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