Short Track Speed Skating

Facts

Discipline of Skating
Participants 565
NOCs 39
Competitions held 65 (Venues)
Distinct events 16
IF International Skating Union

Description

In the United States and Canada, speed skating was not conducted in time-trial fashion, but in small pack races. This format was used at the 1932 Olympic Winter Games, but never used again outdoors at the Olympics. However, races in indoor halls, frequently also used for ice hockey and figure skating, became increasingly popular in North America.

In 1967, the International Skating Union (ISU) recognized short track speed skating as a separate sport. Since 1981, World Championships have been held, and in 1988 the sport was demonstrated at the Winter Olympics in Calgary.

The sport is governed by the ISU, which was formed in 1892, the first true international governing body of any winter sport, and it also governs figure skating and speed skating. As of 2022, the ISU has 102 member nations. However, because several nations have both a figure skating and a speed skating member, only 81 nations are represented in the ISU.

Short track speed skating became a full medal sport in 1992, with an individual event and a relay event for both men and women. This program has gradually been expanded to nine events. Both men and women now contest 500 metres, 1,000 metres and 1,500 metres individually, as well as a relay event (3,000 metres for women, 5,000 metres for men). Beijing 2022 witnessed the first mixed 2,000 metres relay. In 2018 long-track speed skating added a mass start event for men and women, similar to the 1932 speed skating events.

While Europeans have dominated traditional speed skating, North American and Asian countries have taken the bulk of Olympic medals in this sport. In particular, South Korea has excelled, having won 26 gold medals out of 65 events contested. The Asian country is followed by China (12 golds, 37 medals), Canada (10 golds, 37 medals) and the United States (4 golds, 20 medals).

The most decorated male short track speed skaters have been Viktor An (formerly Ahn Hyeon-Su) (KOR/RUS) and Apolo Anton Ohno (USA), who have both won eight medals, with An/Ahn winning six gold medals. In the overall medal score, they are both surpassed by female short track speed skater Arianna Fontana (ITA), who has won 11 Olympic medals. Also in the women’s competition, Wang Meng (CHN) and Jeon I-Gyeong (KOR) have both won four gold medals.

All-time medal table

Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Republic of Korea KOR 26 16 11 53
People's Republic of China CHN 12 16 9 37
Canada CAN 10 13 14 37
United States USA 4 7 9 20
Italy ITA 3 6 6 15
Netherlands NED 3 3 3 9
Russian Federation RUS 3 1 1 5
Hungary HUN 2 0 2 4
Japan JPN 1 0 2 3
Australia AUS 1 0 1 2
Bulgaria BUL 0 2 1 3
ROC ROC 0 1 2 3
Belgium BEL 0 0 1 1
Democratic People's Republic of Korea PRK 0 0 1 1
Great Britain GBR 0 0 1 1
Unified Team EUN 0 0 1 1

Youth Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Republic of Korea KOR 11 6 0 17
Mixed team MIX 3 3 3 9
People's Republic of China CHN 1 3 5 9
Hungary HUN 0 1 1 2
Japan JPN 0 1 1 2
Netherlands NED 0 1 0 1
Canada CAN 0 0 2 2
Bulgaria BUL 0 0 1 1
Germany GER 0 0 1 1
Italy ITA 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Viktor An KOR
RUS
6 0 2 8
Charles Hamelin CAN 4 1 1 6
Wang Meng CHN 4 1 1 6
Jeon I-Gyeong KOR 4 0 1 5
Choi Min-Jeong KOR 3 2 0 5
Suzanne Schulting NED 3 1 2 6
Marc Gagnon CAN 3 0 2 5
Kim Gi-Hun KOR 3 0 0 3
Jin Seon-Yu KOR 3 0 0 3
Zhou Yang CHN 3 0 0 3

Youth Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Sim Seok-Hui KOR 2 0 1 3
Seo Hwi-Min KOR 2 0 1 3
Kim Ji-Yoo KOR 2 0 0 2
Jang Sung-Woo KOR 1 2 0 3
Xu Aili CHN 1 2 0 3
Im Hyo-Jun KOR 1 1 0 2
Kim Chan-Seo KOR 1 1 0 2
Lee Jeong-Min KOR 1 1 0 2
Yun Su-Min KOR 1 1 0 2
Hwang Dae-Heon KOR 1 0 0 1
Shogo Miyata JPN 1 0 0 1
Diede van Oorschot NED 1 0 0 1
Jonathan So USA 1 0 0 1
Lu Xiucheng CHN 1 0 0 1
Jack Burrows GBR 1 0 0 1
Park Jeong-Hyeon KOR 1 0 0 1
Quentin Fercoq FRA 1 0 0 1
Stijn Desmet BEL 1 0 0 1
Zang Yize CHN 1 0 0 1
Hong Kyung-Hwan KOR 1 0 0 1
Ane Farstad NOR 1 0 0 1

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
500 metres Men 9
1,000 metres Men 10
1,500 metres Men 7
5,000 metres Relay Men 10
500 metres Women 10
1,000 metres Women 9
1,500 metres Women 7
3,000 metres Relay Women 10
2,000 metres Relay Mixed 1
500 metres Boys 3
1,000 metres Boys 3
500 metres Girls 3
1,000 metres Girls 3
3,000 metres Relay Mixed Youth 3
3,000 m Men 1
3,000 m Women 1