Speedskating 101

Proudly representing the fastest human-powered sport in the world, US Speedskating is a non-profit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union as the governing body for the sport of speed skating in the United States. Its mission is to be one of the premier speed skating organizations in the world through excellence in leadership, development and performance. To date, US Speedskating has won 85 Olympic medals, making it the most successful winter sport in the U.S. In addition to its elite programs, US Speedskating is responsible for the grassroots development of speed skating.


Short track

• Held on Olympic sized hockey rink

• Skaters race counter clockwise

• Pack or mass start

• Individual and relay races

• Competition reduces the field through elimination races until the final round

• Short track is often referred to as NASCAR on ice


Long track

• Has been an Olympic event since 1924

• Considered to be the fastest, human powered, non-mechanical sport in the world

• Skaters compete on a 400m oval and race counter clockwise

• Athletes compete in pairs and change lanes once per lap to equalize distance