Short track speed skating was first introduced as a full medal sport in 1992 at Albertville after having been a demonstration sport at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary. This exciting sport has proved extremely popular with spectators ever since its introduction at the Winter Games in 1992, due to the speed, closeness of the skaters and potential for collisions and falls.
Short Track in Russia
In February 1985, classic speed skating races were replaced by short track skating at the World Student Games in Italy.
In April 1986, the Soviet team for the first time took part in the ISU World Short Track Championships in Chamonix, France. Over time, this event became more popular in Russia. Short track centers opened in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Short Track as it is
Short track speed skating is a type of speed skating where the athletes compete on a 111.12 m oval.
At the Olympic Winter Games, Short Track Speed Skating consists of eight medal events. Men and women compete in 500m, 1000m, and 1500m races. There is a 5000m relay for men, and a 3000m relay for women.
Short track speed skating is an elimination event in which skaters race in packs and try to outskate and outwit fellow competitors within their heats. The first skater to cross the finish line is the winner, regardless of time
Individual competitions begin with 32 skaters and feature heats of four athletes at a time. The first two skaters in each heat to cross the finish line continue on to the next round until only 4 athletes are left to vie for medals.
The men’s and women’s relays are two-day competitions consisting of a semi-final and a final. Eight teams of 4 athletes are divided into two heats of four. Every team agrees on the number of laps each athlete should skate. The only exception is the last 2 laps that are covered by the same skater. The top two teams in each semi-final advance to the final.
- The short track blades are very sharp and measure 40-46cm lengthwise. Short track boots lace higher up the ankle than traditional skates and are constructed from customized foot moulds and with heavier materials to help stabilize the foot and ankle around the corners.
- Gloves are worn to protect skaters’ hands from blades.
- Hard plastic helmets prevent potential head injuries resulting from crashes with competitors, the ice or side walls.
- Skin-tight suits mould to the skater’s body to reduce wind resistance.
- Knee, shin, and sometimes neck guards offer protection from the blades of the skater in front.
Short Track in Sochi
The Sochi “Iceberg” Skating Palace , where short track and figure skating events will take place during 2014 Olympic Winter Games, is not only a modern world-class sports facility but also a genuine work of art. The smooth curves of the palace facade will evoke associations with a figure skater's trajectory as he lands a triple toe loop.
Under 2014 Olympic Winter Games concept, Sochi Olympic Skating Center will play a key role - hence its location in the Olympic Park which will be the heart of events in the Coastal cluster. The planned venue capacity is 12,000 spectators.
The Olympic Skating Center will be fully accessible for persons with disabilities
This facility is to be commissioned in 2012 for test competitions.
The unique design of the Sochi Olympic Skating Center will allow it to be used as a multipurpose sports and cultural facility after the Games.