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10 things to know about Short Track Speed Skating for Sochi

January 27, 2014 10:59 am

Venue: Iceberg Skating Palace

Gold medals on offer: 8

Dates: Monday February 10 – Friday February 21

Number of Team GB athletes: 5 (Men: 3 Women: 2) - Check out the Team GB Athletes for Sochi 2014

Hand-off: Term for the changeover in relay events. The incoming skater can shove their teammate from behind to get them up to speed quicker

Blades: Sharp metal at the bottom of a skater’s boot. They measure 40-46cm lengthwise and are bent at an arc to mirror the direction of the turn

Latvia’s Haralds Silovs made history at Vancouver 2010 when he became the first man to compete in both short track and long track speed skating at the same Olympics, even competing in both events on the same day.

Racing suits need to conform to the natural shape of the body of the skater. Insertion or attachment of forms or devices to create different shape is not permitted.

Unlike traditional speed skating, short track was only officially recognised by the International Skating Union in 1967 and did not hold a World Championships until 1976. It was to feature at a Winter Olympics for the first time 12 years later at Calgary 1988, initially on the programme as a demonstration event before earning full status at Albertville 1992.

In short track multiple competitor’s race around an oval shaped track 111.12m in circumference in an anti-clockwise direction. The rink itself is 60m long and 30m wide, which is the same size as an international standard ice hockey rink.