Last season, the Belgian Short Track Speed Skating squad benefited from what might seem like the skating equivalent of winning the lottery. In an unorthodox partnership with a country that is often considered a fierce sporting rival, the Netherlands, the decision was made to effectively merge the two nations’ squads.
Short Track Speed Skating might be considered one of the newer Winter sports –the first edition of its World Championships took place in 1976, and the sport was added to the Olympic program officially in 1992 – but people have actually been enjoying the thrills and spills of the event for well over a century.
It was no surprise when, in May of this year, China’s four-time Olympic champion Wang Meng was given the responsibility of leading her country’s national Speed Skating squads to glory in the Beijing 2022 Games.
For a moment at the 2019 ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, it looked like Ren Ziwei, the 22-year-old Chinese skater, was going to win one of the oddest gold medals in the sport since Steven Bradbury took the 2002 Olympic title in the men’s 1000m due to a pile-up.
Not many Olympic champions have a Hollywood film made about their lives. But not many Olympic champions have a story to tell quite like that of Steven Bradbury. The Australian has packed more than most into his 45 years.
There is bad news for Choi Min Jeong’s opponents next season. “I am feeling great at the moment,” says the quietly-spoken Republic of Korea skater from her training base in Seoul. “I’m currently doing a lot of core training and running. I’m really looking forward to the next season.”
Even in a season crammed full of spectacular highlights, the race in which the Hungarian Men’s 5000m Relay team smashed the world record after 45 laps of thrilling competition stands out as a perfect illustration of Short Track Speed Skating at its very best.
Marianne St-Gelais was a bright light in the world of Short Track Speed Skating, and not just because she was so fast. The Quebec skater was undeniably competitive – and sometimes looked unbeatable over 500m, her favorite distance – and also incredibly popular. In the world of sport, many athletes like to look unreadable, wearing a serious ‘game face’ at all times. Not St-Gelais: she was always laughing, joking and making others have a good time, too.
The ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2019 is In Focus. Discover the top pictures of the elite Short Track Speed Skaters as they showed up in Sofia, Bulgaria, for a thrilling battle for a chance to be corwned world's best.
Often, Short Track Speed Skating is a fierce battle between nations. But in the Men’s field this season, it was an internal struggle between the Republic of Korea’s incredible pool of young skaters – culminating in an epic brawl at the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
In the almost 10 years since Apolo Anton Ohno hung up his skates, the USA’s most decorated winter Olympian of all time has founded businesses, acted, hosted TV game shows, commentated, danced and much, much more. But even so, the eight-time Short Track Speed Skating Olympic medal winner openly admits that life off the track has been just as much of a challenge as on it.
For Steven Dubois’ entire athletic life, he’s been chasing someone’s tail. The boy from Terrebonne, near Montreal, took up Short Track Speed Skating at the age of 11 – far later than most of his contemporaries – and has been playing catch-up, very enthusiastically, ever since.
Lara van Ruijven didn’t think she was going to have a great 2018/19 Short Track season. In fact, she feared it might be a disaster.
Everyone knows about Korean, Canadian, Russian and Dutch Short Track racers but the Short Track Speed Skating is are a truly international affair – and some teams are one-athlete organizations from countries without any winter sport tradition.
Belgium and the Netherlands have always been huge sporting rivals: Benelux neighbors who particularly don’t like each other on the football field.