/Speed Skating Stories to Watch at PyeongChang 2018 | Olympic Winter Games

Speed Skating Stories to Watch at PyeongChang 2018 | Olympic Winter Games

Video: Speed Skating Stories to Watch at PyeongChang 2018 | Olympic Winter Games


Pyeongchang 2018 – stories to watch. Speed skating. Speed skating is thought to have originated in Scandinavia where natives strapped bones to their shoes so they could glide faster along frozen canals and rivers. The sport has been a part of every Winter Olympics since 1924. In Pyeongchang, competition will include the 500m for both men and women, the 1,000m for both genders, as well as the 1,500 and 5,000m events. Women also race the 3,000m while the men, the 10,000. The team pursuit will award medals. Three skaters on each team.

There will also be a new event, a mass start, for both genders. Watch for strategies and tactics in those. The long track speed skating competition will take place at the Gangneung Oval, in the region's Coastal Cluster, also home to curling, ice hockey and short-track speedskating during the Games. The oval was the site of the World Single Distance Championships in 2017 and the venue holds 8,000 spectators. What American novelist introduced a future Olympic sport to her countrymen through a 19th century children's novel about two teenagers? (SVEN KRAMER, NED) Sven has won seven Olympic medals, including two in Sochi. He might have won another, but he was disqualified after finishing first in the 10,000m in 2010 for skating a lap in the wrong lane after his coach gave him incorrect instructions. He has broken nine world records. In 2010, Sven became the first skater in history to win four consecutive world all-round championships.

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He's also been a competitive cyclist and was ranked number two in Dutch road cycling as a junior. Will Sven continue to ride into history in Pyeongchang? (KJELD NUIS, NED) Kjeld Nuis won world titles in the 1,000 and 1,500m in 2017 to increase his career world total to nine. Kjeld considers himself a thrill-seeker and says simply, "Everything that is dangerous is beautiful." Kjeld is also a practical joker. If something is missing or out of place at a team meal, eyes usually shift to him. (OLYMPIC MEDALS) The countries with the most gold medals in Olympic speed skating are… 5th place Germany with 14. The former Soviet Union sits in 4th. Norway's in 3rd with 25. The USA stands 2nd with 29.

At the top, the Netherlands leading golds and overall medals. (PARK SEUNG-HI, KOR) Hey, isn't that Park Seung-hi, the great Korean short track skating star, the one with five Olympic medals, including two golds in Sochi? What is she doing crashing the long track speedskating party? After the 2014-15 season, Seung-hi decided she wanted a change of pace, and perhaps a change of space, switching from the tight confines of a rink to the more spacious oval. Will changing short track to long track do Park good? (JOEY MANTIA, USA) The Florida native Joey Mantia began his speedskating career outdoors on inline skates, winning gold medals at the Pan-Am Games in 2003 and 2007. As an inliner, he held world records in distances ranging from 500m to 20,000m. In 2011, Joey switched to long-track skating, but initially found it difficult to keep an efficient stride on ice the way he did on the roads.

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Joey qualified for Sochi 2014, but hopes to medal for the first time in Pyeongchang. Not surprisingly, Joey is known for having large quad muscles. He is part-owner of a coffee shop in Utah. And Joey plays the piano in his spare time. In 2017, he won gold at the world championships in the mass start, an event that will make its Olympic debut in Pyeongchang. You get to see the race unfold right now. There's no waiting, there's no pairs that come after this guy that might beat this guy. You know who's going to win, you can see it unfold right now, if there's a breakaway you can follow it. It's very simple, it's just pure racing. Mass start – the new Olympic event in speed skating. Lining up 24 skaters at once, racing 16 laps. Similar, say, to a 10,000m running event. (IREEN WUST, NED) In 2006, Ireen Wust became the youngest Dutch Olympic champion in history when she won the 3,000m at the Turin 2006 Games when she was just 19.

She got so many messages after that victory that she had to change her mobile number. Ireen then won gold in the 1,500m in 2010 and two more gold medals in the 3,000m and team pursuit events in Sochi. The seven Olympic medals are the most by any Dutch female Winter Olympian in history. (DID YOU KNOW?) At the Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid in 1932, Jack Shea won two speed skating golds. His grandson Jimmy later won Olympic gold in skeleton in 2002. (HEATHER RICHARDSON-BERGSMA, USA) (JORRIT BERGSMA, NED) Jorrit Bergsma won gold and bronze at Sochi 2014. He twice won the Dutch Marathon Skating Championship. Unlike Jorrit, Heather Richardson-Bergsma is a sprinter, who has won 13 of her 14 world medals in races ranging from 500 to 1,500m. She won the other in the mass start race in 2017.

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They met on the World Cup circuit in 2011 after she contacted him through Twitter. They married in May, 2015. For the Bergsmas, the chase for Olympic gold in Pyeongchang will indeed be a team pursuit. (MARTINA SABLOKOVA, CZE) Martina Sablokova has won five Olympic medals, including three gold. She is the two-time defending Olympic champion in the 5,000m. Martina is also an elite competitor in cycling. She was twice named Czech Sportsperson of the Year. Martina broke the world record twice each in the 5,000m and 10,000, and those recent records still stand. In 1865, US author Mary Mapes Dodge penned the tale of Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates. The bestselling book has been adapted into four movies. The schedule for speed skating starts on the 10th with the women's 3,000m. The men's 5,000 is the next day. On the 18th, the women's 500, then the men's 500. Team pursuit is on the 21st, and the mass start takes place on the final Saturday of Pyeongchang 2018. Discover more stories to watch on Olympic Channel.