Speed Skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics

Dates 8 – 22 February 2014
Medal Events 12

Some observers noted the Olympic speed skating tournament to be the open Dutch Championships. The team from the Netherlands took 8 of the 12 titles at stake, and 23 of the 32 medals available to them. Such dominance had never been seen in any Olympic winter sport, and it also made the Netherlands the all-time top nation in the sport by any count. This success obviously was at the expense of other countries, notably historically strong nations. Germany had a medal drought, its first since Innsbruck 1964, while the US had medalled at every Olympics since Sarajevo 1984 (incidentally also the most recent Olympics without Dutch speed skating medals). Norway (25 golds) didn’t medal either, but that had also happened in 2006, while the host nation had expected more than three medals. By contrast, two nations produced an Olympic champion for the first time. Poland earned three medals, doubling its previous total and winning the men’s 1,500 m, while China finally earned a gold, after six medals since 1992. South Korea and Czech Republic had first won gold medals in Vancouver, and their top female skater s retained their titles.

Competitions were held at the Adler Arena, situated at the Olympic Park in the Coastal Cluster by the Black Sea. Destined to become an exhibition hall after the Games, it had seen only one major international competition prior to the Olympics: the World Single Distance Championships in 2013. All track records of that meet were duly beaten at the Olympics. Despite being virtually at sea level (altitude: 5 m), the rink proved quite fast, and in many races the world best marks for lowland rinks were approached, with Jorrit Bergsma beating the mark in the 10,000 m. Several Olympic Records set at high altitude in Salt Lake City were even beaten, as new marks were recorded in four individual events as well as both team pursuits.

No single skater dominated the competitions. Dutch skaters Ireen Wüst, Sven Kramer and Jorien ter Mors all earned two gold medals, but all won a single individual event, earning their second gold in the team pursuit. Wüst’s performance made her the equal sixth most successful speed skater in Olympic history, in terms of gold medals won, behind Lidiya Skoblikova, Claudia Pechstein, Clas Thunberg, Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
500 metres, Men Olympic 10 February 2014 40 16
1,000 metres, Men Olympic 12 February 2014 40 19
1,500 metres, Men Olympic 15 February 2014 40 17
5,000 metres, Men Olympic 8 February 2014 26 14
10,000 metres, Men Olympic 18 February 2014 14 9
Team Pursuit (8 laps), Men Olympic 21 – 22 February 2014 27 8
500 metres, Women Olympic 11 February 2014 35 12
1,000 metres, Women Olympic 13 February 2014 36 13
1,500 metres, Women Olympic 16 February 2014 36 14
3,000 metres, Women Olympic 9 February 2014 28 13
5,000 metres, Women Olympic 19 February 2014 16 9
Team Pursuit (6 laps), Women Olympic 21 – 22 February 2014 30 8
177 (94/83) 23 (21/15)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
500 metres, Men Michel MulderNED Jan SmeekensNED Ronald MulderNED
1,000 metres, Men Stefan GroothuisNED Denny MorrisonCAN Michel MulderNED
1,500 metres, Men Zbigniew BródkaPOL Koen VerweijNED Denny MorrisonCAN
5,000 metres, Men Sven KramerNED Jan BlokhuijsenNED Jorrit BergsmaNED
10,000 metres, Men Jorrit BergsmaNED Sven KramerNED Bob de JongNED
Team Pursuit (8 laps), Men NetherlandsNED Republic of KoreaKOR PolandPOL
500 metres, Women Lee Sang-HwaKOR Olga FatkulinaRUS Margot BoerNED
1,000 metres, Women Zhang HongCHN Ireen WüstNED Margot BoerNED
1,500 metres, Women Jorien ter MorsNED Ireen WüstNED Lotte van BeekNED
3,000 metres, Women Ireen WüstNED Martina SáblíkováCZE Olga GrafRUS
5,000 metres, Women Martina SáblíkováCZE Ireen WüstNED Carien KleibeukerNED
Team Pursuit (6 laps), Women NetherlandsNED PolandPOL Russian FederationRUS

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Netherlands NED 8 7 8 23
Poland POL 1 1 1 3
Czech Republic CZE 1 1 0 2
Republic of Korea KOR 1 1 0 2
People's Republic of China CHN 1 0 0 1
Russian Federation RUS 0 1 2 3
Canada CAN 0 1 1 2