Equipment — clothing and special tools of the athletes, necessary to participate in the competitions.
- Photo: modern speed skates design. Source: pureskatingnews.com
Perhaps one of the most interesting devices used by athletes at the Olympic Winter Games are the speed skates. Anyone who has ever watched the skaters competing has probably noticed that the blade of the skates is attached only to the front, and seems to detach itself from the heel during the running. This design, called "clap" in English due to the characteristic sound coming from the contact of the blade and the ice during sliding, has only appeared in the runners' arsenal relatively recently — in the early 90s of the last century. The peculiarity of this skate device consists in its unique ability to accelerate and at the same keep the athlete on the ice, minimizing the possibility of falling. Before the introduction of this technology, all skates were rigidly fixed to the blade, making the athletes less mobile and stopping them from reaching the highest possible speed. Incidentally, thanks to the new skate design, 38 world and Olympic records have been beaten!