2010 Short Track Speed Skating
Fast on the Ice
The short-track speed skaters are some of the fastest ice skaters in the world! At the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games, well-known short track speed skaters such as Apolo Ohno will return for another chance at a medal. In the past four years since many of us last watched them in Torino, a new crop of skaters has also come up to join them.
Find out more information on US Short Track Speed Skating right here.
Photo by Bert van Lobenstein.
What is Short Track Speed Skating?
The Olympics has two different kinds of speed skating events: short track and speed skating. Perhaps you have wondered what the difference was, and why they have two different events for what is essentially skaters trying to skate really fast.
In traditional speed skating, skaters are trying to skate as fast as they can, but they are measured by one thing: their time. They skate in lanes, and they generally never touch. In short track speed skating, between four and six speed skaters race at once, do not compete in lanes, and have to pass each other, which can lead to contact and sometimes even injuries. Short track speed skaters are racing against each other, not against the clock.
Skaters are not supposed to bump or push each other, but sometimes it happens accidentally. It is up to the referees to determine whether contact was made on purpose or not. Skaters are also not supposed to cut other skaters off, intentionally trip them, or help another skater by pushing them forward.
Short track speed skating can be exciting to watch, although the skaters do have to be willing to get a little bruised as they compete.
Photo by Noelle Neu.
Short Track Schedule
Set your Tivos to record the following dates of short track competition.
500m Women heat
3000m relay Women heat
1500m Men final
1000m Men heat
5000m relay Men heat
500m Women final
1500m Women final
1000m Men final
1000m Women heat
500m Men heat
3000m relay Women final
500m Men final
1000m Women final
5000m relay Men final
Men's Short-Track Speed Skating
Each country can send five men to compete in the short track event at the Olympic games. Team members can compete in several different events: 500m, 1000m, 1500m, and a 5000m relay.
The United States held its trials in Marquette, Michigan, in September. The five men chosen for 2010's short track team include Apolo Ohno, J.R. Celski, Jordan Malone, Travis Jayner, and Simon Cho.
Photo by Vincent Baas.
Apolo Anton Ohno
Vancouver will be Apolo's third Olympics. He received two Olympic medals in Salt Lake City and three in Torino, including one gold medal from each.
During the Olympic trials that were held in Marquette, Michigan, Ohno won the overall title, as well as the 500m, 1000m, and 1500m finals. Although anything can happen in short track speed skating, we will probably see a strong showing from him during the Olympics.
Ohno was born in Federal Way, Washington, and was originally a competitive swimmer. He chose to become a short track skater after seeing the 1994 games in Lillehammer, Norway. He is the subject of two biographies: , which he wrote with Nancy Ann Richardson, and A Journey: the Autobiography of Apolo Anton Ohno, by Thomas Lang. Going for the gold: Apolo Anton Ohno: Skating on the Edge
Photo by Noelle Neu
Ohno on the Today Show - Prior to the 2006 Olympics
J.R. Celski is part of the next generation of short track skaters. He decided to pursue short track speed skating after watching Apolo Ohno at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Like his idol, he is also from Federal Way, Washington. He even beat Ohno in the 1500m heats at nationals in 2009.
Vancouver will be Celski's first Olympic games. He missed the age cutoff for Torino by 17 days, but he said that the Olympics were on his mind every day. At age 14, he moved to Los Angeles to get better training. His brother moved along with him. He graduated with a 3.71 GPA, and plans to attend college at California-Berkley after he finishes the Olympics.
Jordan Malone, age 25, has earned a spot on the Men's 2010 Olympic Short Track Team. He is fast on the ice, which he recently proved by earning a silver medal in the 1000m race at the ISU World Cup 2 in September. He was the only short track skater to do so.
Like many other short track skaters, Malone started out as an inline skater. He wasn't able to compete in Torino in 2006, as he was injured at the time.
Malone is from Denton, Texas.
Travis Jayner, 27, has been skating since age five. His father is also a speed skater. He can compete at all distances. He earned a spot at the Olympics by placing fourth in the overall standings at the Olympic Trials at Marquette, Michigan, which took place in September.
Simon Cho is the youngest skater, age 17, to make the 2010 Olympic Men's Short Track Team. He earned the fifth spot on the Olympic team by placing well in the trials. He started skating at the age of three
Men's 1500 m Race
February 13th, 2010
The Men's 1500 m race was exciting to watch. USA's Jordan Malone was disqualified in the first round for bumping another skater, while J.R. Celski and Apolo Ohno moved on to the semifinals. They both made it to the finals. In the finals, Ohno and Celski started out strong, but were overtaken by the three Koreans that were in the race. In the final lap, it looked like the three Koreans would sweep the event. In the final length of the track, it looked like it was all over, until the third place Korean, Lee Ho-Suk, tried to overtake the second place Korean, Sung Si-Bak. Ho-Suk bumped into Si-Bak, and they both took a tumble, leaving Ohno and Celski to fly past the finish line in second and third place.
Speed Skating on Amazon
Women's Speed Skating
Like the men, the women have four different races that they compete in, with a slight difference. The women compete in 500m, 1000m, and 1500m races, as well as a 3000m relay.
The US Olympic Trials, held in Marquette, Michigan, determined the five ladies that will be headed to Vancouver this year. The 2010 team consists of Katherine Reutter, Alyson Dudek, Kimberly Derrick, Allison Baver, and Lana Gehring.
Katherine Reutter is one of the fastest female skaters on ice today. Earning the top spot at the Olympic Trials gave her third consecutive US championship. She has won 14 medals in World Cup competition, and is ranked 7th in the overall World Cup competition. She has been compared to Bonnie Blair, who comes from the same hometown as she does: Champagne, Illinois.
Interview with Ohno, Reutter, and other Skaters - with World Cup 2008 footage
A 19 year old from Hales Corner, Wisconsin, Alyson Dudek is the second person to make the US Olympic Women's short track team. A relative newcomer to International skating, Vancouver will be Dudek's first Olympics.
Kimberly Derrick started inline skating at age six, and ended up winning numerous championships. She switched to short track speed skating in order to try to make the Olympics, and she did.
Vancouver will be her second Olympics. In Torino, she participated in the 1000m race and the 3000m relay, but did not medal.
Vancouver will be Allison Baver's third Olympics. She placed seventh in the 500m competition at Turin. In February 2009, she broke her leg in Bulgaria, but she was able to heal well enough to make it to the 2010 Olympics.
Photo owned by Rodney C. Fetaya.
At 19, Lana is one of the youngest skaters to go to Vancouver from the United States. In 2007 and 2008, she took the US Junior Championship. This will be her first Olympics.
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