Short Track Speed Skating at the 1992 Winter Olympics

Dates 18 – 22 February 1992
Medal Events 4

Traditionally, ice skating was contested in groups, rather than the modern speed skating format, where two skaters race the clock in separate lanes. While that became the official speed skating format, the “pack style” format remained in use. In North America, it remained the most popular skating format, and at the 1932 Winter Olympics, the long track skating competitions were held under North American rules. With the advent of artificial rinks, racing was increasingly conducted on small hockey and figure skating rinks, giving rise to the modern sport of short track speed skating. The International Skating Union (ISU) recognized it as an official sport in the 1960s. The first World Championships were held in 1976, and became official ISU World Championships in 1981. Initially popular mostly in the US and Canada, the sport spread via Japan to China and Korea, and later to Europe.

At the IOC Session during the 1984 Sarajevo Games, the IOC admitted short track speed skating as a demonstration sport for the next Winter Olympics in Calgary. Only single distances and relays were planned for the sport’s Olympic debut, although like its long track cousin, the World Championships are decided in an allround competition over 4 distances. In addition to four individual distances for men and women, two relay event were also held. The competitions proved popular, and in 1989 the IOC Executive Board approved short track speed skating as a new Olympic sport for the 1992 Games in Albertville.

Short track’s initial programme featured four events, two individual and two team competitions. For the men, the 1000 m was picked as the individual event, while the women contested a 500 m. The relay competitions were held over 5000 m (men) and 3000 m (women).


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
1,000 metres, Men Olympic 18 – 20 February 1992 28 16
5,000 metres Relay, Men Olympic 18 – 22 February 1992 37 9
500 metres, Women Olympic 18 – 20 February 1992 27 14
3,000 metres Relay, Women Olympic 20 February 1992 32 8
86 (44/42) 16 (16/14)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
1,000 metres, Men Kim Gi-HunKOR Frédéric BlackburnCAN Lee Jun-HoKOR
5,000 metres Relay, Men Republic of KoreaKOR CanadaCAN JapanJPN
500 metres, Women Cathy TurnerUSA Li YanCHN Hwang Ok-SilPRK
3,000 metres Relay, Women CanadaCAN United StatesUSA Unified TeamEUN

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Republic of Korea KOR 2 0 1 3
Canada CAN 1 2 0 3
United States USA 1 1 0 2
People's Republic of China CHN 0 1 0 1
Democratic People's Republic of Korea PRK 0 0 1 1
Japan JPN 0 0 1 1
Unified Team EUN 0 0 1 1