|Competitions held||188 (Venues)|
|IF||International Skating Union|
Speed skating emerged on the canals of Holland as early as the 13th century. Competition has been held in the Netherlands since at least 1676. The sport spread throughout Europe and national competitions were held in the 1870s.
The first World Championships were contested in 1889, although the International Skating Union (ISU) held its first championships in 1893, one year after its formation. The ISU was formed in 1892, the first true international governing body of any winter sport, and it also governs figure skating and short-track speed skating. As of 2020, the ISU has 91 member nations, with 2 club members (Internationaler Schlittschuh-Club Davos (SUI) and Stockholms Allmänna Skridskoklubb (SWE)). However, because several nations have both a figure skating and a speed skating member, only 77 nations are represented in the ISU.
Speed skating was contested at the 1924 Olympic Winter Games and has been on the Olympic Program since. Women first competed at the Olympics in 1932 when it was a demonstration sport. Women’s speed skating as a full medal sport was planned for 1940, but did not actually begin until 1960.
Olympic speed skating has almost always been contested in the European system of skating time trials in two-man pairs. In 1932 at Lake Placid, the Americans convinced the ISU to hold the events in the North American style of pack racing. Several top Europeans boycotted the events as a result and the Americans won all four gold medals.
At the last few Winter Olympics, the Netherlands has been absolutely dominant in speed skating. They are the all-time national leader with 121 medals and 42 gold medals through 2018. They are followed in the medal list by Norway, the United States, and the former Soviet Union.
In 1980, the United States’ Eric Heiden won all five available gold medals, a dominance in speed skating matched only by the USSR’s Lidiya Skoblikova, who won all four women’s events in 1964. As she also won two additional gold medals in 1960, Skoblikova is the most successful Olympic speed skater.
|Republic of Korea||KOR||5||8||3||16|
|People's Republic of China||CHN||1||3||4||8|
|Democratic People's Republic of Korea||PRK||0||1||0||1|
|Olympic Athletes from Russia||OAR||0||0||1||1|
|Republic of Korea||KOR||7||2||4||13|
|People's Republic of China||CHN||6||6||3||15|
|Lidiya Skoblikova|| RUS
|Yevgeny Grishin|| RUS
|Johann Olav Koss||NOR||4||1||0||5|
|Sanneke de Neeling||NED||2||1||0||3|
|Name||Gender||Still contested?||Times held?|
|Team Pursuit (8 laps)||Men||4|
|Team Pursuit (6 laps)||Women||4|
|Team Sprint||Mixed Youth||2|