As an Afro-American kid form the south side of Chicago, Shani Davis entered the international Speed Skating world as an exception in the early 2000s. In a prolific career over the course of more than fifteen years the 36-year-old American collected two Olympic titles, eleven ISU World Speed Skating titles, and 58 ISU World Cup Speed Skating wins. With 13,331 points he tops the all-time ranking in career ISU World Cup Speed Skating points.
The ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships is In Focus. Have a look at the top pictures of some of the fastest athletes out there.
The most successful Dutch Olympian of all-time was competing at the ISU European Speed Skating Championships in Collalbo, only a few days after having buried her best friend and 2008 ISU World Allround Speed Skating Champion Paulien van Deutekom. Wüst was devastated, but in all her grief and despair she knew that there was only one thing she could do.
Two-time Olympic Champion Sang-Hwa Lee (KOR) has announced her retirement from Speed Skating at an emotional press conference in Seoul on May 16, 2019. The 30-year-old Korean sprinter suffered from a persistent chronic knee injury, which has been hampering her for years already. With 36.36 seconds Lee is the current world record holder in the ladies' 500m.
Nao Kodaira (JPN) started the 2018/19 Speed Skating season as the lady to beat in the 500m, but Vanessa Herzog (AUT) was up for the challenge. The Japanese sprint queen won the first four 500m races of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating season on home soil in Obihiro and Tomakomai, with her Austrian challenger coming second in all four races. Kodaira and Herzog were gearing up for a season long fascinating battle in the shortest distance.
At age twenty Tingyu Gao (CHN) claimed bronze in the 500m at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and became the first Chinese man to win an Olympic medal in Speed Skating. Although he still has a long career ahead of him, the youngster aims to be at the top of his game for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and takes a philosophical approach: "Success is a journey, not a destination."
Stamina, that's what separates Marina Zueva (BLR) from the others. Speed skating was her first love, but certainly not the only one. Since she was a little kid Marina has also done inline-skating, mountain-biking and cycling on both road and track. Apart from being a top-athlete herself, the Belarussian national champion also coaches kids. Working on the development of speed skating in her motherland, Marina takes two youngsters by the hand to form a Belarussian Team Pursuit squad next season.
He's a triple Speed Skating World Champion, a double European Champion and a multiple World Cup winner, but the first time Denis Yuskov put on skates as a kid, he abominated the sport. This season the 1500m World Record holder has set his sights on the World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Inzell.
Pavel Kulizhnikov is the fastest man on skates. In 2015 he beat the 500m World Record in Salt Lake City (USA) in 33.98 seconds. To this date no one else managed to skate the 500m under 34 seconds. The 24-year-old Russian began Speed Skating when he was 12 years old and his talent for the sport was evident from the start. "I appeared to make progress way faster than most other kids", he says.
Sports is all about competition, but even the fiercest sporting rivalries often lead to close friendships too. Here's the story of Korean Sang-Hwa Lee and Japanese Nao Kodaira, enemies on the ice, but friends in real life.
As the only lady to win two gold medals in Speed Skating at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Nana Takagi was crowned Queen of the Gangneung Oval. The older of the successful Takagi-sisters won the Mass Start gold, which made its Olympic debut in PyeongChang on February 24. Just three days before, she had won the Team Pursuit title together with sister Miho, Ayano Sato and Ayaka Kikuchi.