Do not blink, because you might miss all of the action. Much like the track races during the Summer Olympics, speed skating pits skater against skater on a 60-meter long track to see who can complete the race first. But simply finishing the race is easier said than done with crashes being a common theme—in the 1000-meter skate at the 2002 Winter Olympics that saw four out of five skaters crash during the final turn. The event began in 1992 with only two events each for men and women, but today includes 500-, 1000- and 1500-meter heats as well as a men’s and women’s relay.
Skaters to watch in this event are Korea’s world champions teenaged Suk-Hee Shim and 20-year-old Sin Da-Woon and defending 500-meter Olympic gold medalist Canada’s Charles Hamelin. Unfortunately for the U.S., their one and only shot at an individual medal may be J.R. Celski who is ranked No. 11 in the World Cup standings, but is favored in the men’s relay.