Friday, February 7, 2014

2014 Olympics Preview: Short Track


Men and women both compete in races of:
Men's Relay (5000m)
Women's Relay (3000m)


Since being introduced onto the Olympic circuit in 1992, Short Track Speed Skating has provided some of the most exciting action of the games. It's basically a NASCAR race on ice where athletes can be disqualified for bumping or pushing or cutting off another competitor but also run the risk of being knocked out in a big crash. Both men and women compete in Short Track races of 500m, 1000m and 1500m around a 111m oval. There is also a relay event for both men (5000m) and women (3000m). Generally, the longer races start slow with racers feeling each other out and just trying to stay in front of the pack before the action heats up in the last few laps.


Asian nations have absolutely dominated Short Track with South Korea winning nearly half the Golds (19 of 40) and a quarter of the total medals (37 of 120). Canada (7 Golds, 25 total), China (7 Golds, 24 total) and the US (4 Golds, 18 total) are the only nations to win more than 5 medals in the history of the event. On the Men's side, Korean skaters have dominated the longer distances winning 5 Golds and 3 Silvers in the 6 1000m races and 2 Golds and a Silver in the 3 1500m races. Ho-Suk Lee has 3 individual Silver medals to his name and will return to anchor the strong Korean contingent. On the women's side, the Chinese have been almost as dominant with Wang Meng winning 3 Golds and a Silver over the last two Olympics.

US Hopefuls

The face of US Short Track, Apollo Anton Ohno will not be competing in these games but will be one of NBC's commentators. The torch has been passed to JR Celski who won Bronze in the 1500 in Vancouver. The US won Bronze in both team relays in Vancouver and will have to compete once again with the powers of the sport - Korea, China and Canada - in Sochi.


Korean men and Chinese women dominate. The US and Canada medal in the team events and sneak in a few medals from the individual events.

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