Lorrie Mena

Lorrie Mena

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023

Source: Fittoplay.org

Short track skating is a thrilling and adrenaline-pumping sport that has captivated audiences around the world. Its fast-paced nature and tight corners make for exhilarating races and unpredictable outcomes. Whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned fan, there are always fascinating facts to discover about short track. In this article, we will delve into the world of short track and explore 18 facts that will deepen your understanding and appreciation for this intense sport. From the origins of short track to astounding records and remarkable athletes, prepare to be amazed by the excitement that short track brings to the ice. So, lace up your skates and get ready to dive into the thrilling world of short track skating!

Table of Contents

Short Track Origins

Short track speed skating originated in the early 20th century in North America. It was initially developed as a way for hockey players to stay in shape during the off-season.

Olympic Inclusion

Short track made its debut as an official Olympic event in 1992 at the Winter Games in Albertville, France. Since then, it has been a crowd favorite, delivering intense and unpredictable races.

Small Track, Big Thrills

Unlike long track speed skating, which takes place on a 400-meter oval track, short track races are held on a smaller track, usually 111.12 meters in length. The compact size adds to the excitement as skaters navigate tight turns and rapid accelerations.

High-Speed Action

Short track speed skaters reach incredible speeds, with top athletes reaching speeds over 30 miles per hour (48 kilometers per hour). The combination of speed and close-quarters racing creates a thrilling spectacle for spectators.

The Need for Balance

Skaters in short track must possess exceptional balance and body control. The sport requires frequent changes in direction, and skaters must maintain their balance while executing sharp turns at high speeds.

Sharp Turns

Short track speed skating is known for its sharp turns, or “hairpins,” which require skaters to lean at extreme angles to maintain traction. Mastering these turns is crucial for success in the sport.

Relay Races

Short track includes exciting relay races, where teams of four skaters compete against each other. The baton exchange between teammates adds an extra level of strategy and drama to the race.

Close Contact Racing

Short track is notorious for its close-quarters racing, where athletes often jostle for position and make daring overtakes. This element of contact adds intensity and unpredictability to the competitions.

Penalty Box

Referees closely monitor short track races for rule violations. Skaters who commit infractions such as pushing, blocking, or impeding their opponents may be sent to the penalty box for a designated amount of time.

Short Track Legends

Short track has been home to many legendary skaters who have left an indelible mark on the sport. From Apolo Ohno to Choi Min-jeong, these athletes have captivated audiences with their exceptional skills and thrilling performances.

Unpredictable Finishes

Short track races often feature dramatic and unpredictable finishes. With skaters racing at high speeds and overtaking each other on tight curves, the leader of the race can change multiple times before the finish line.

Inclusion of Mixed Gender Events

Short track has embraced gender equality by introducing mixed gender relays in recent years. This exciting format sees male and female athletes team up to compete against other mixed teams.

Longest Track Record

The longest-standing short track world record is the men’s 500m set by South Korea’s Chun Lee-kyung in The record still stands today, showcasing the incredible talent and speed of the athletes.

Intense Training Regimen

Short track speed skaters undergo rigorous training regimes to enhance their speed, endurance, and agility. Daily sessions involve a mix of on-ice training, strength training, and flexibility exercises.

National Dominance

Certain countries, such as South Korea, China, and the United States, have consistently dominated short track speed skating at the Olympics and World Championships, showcasing their superior talent and dedication to the sport.

Sharp Blades

Short track speed skates have shorter blades compared to long track skates, allowing for quicker turns and maneuverability on the smaller track. The blades are also heavily curved to help skaters maintain traction during sharp turns.

International Competitions

In addition to the Winter Olympics, short track speed skaters compete in other prestigious events, such as the World Championships and the World Cup circuit, where they represent their countries and strive for victory and recognition.

Growing Global Popularity

Short track speed skating has gained immense popularity worldwide, attracting a dedicated fanbase that appreciates the sport’s speed, excitement, and unpredictable nature.

There you have it – 18 fascinating facts about short track! Whether you’re a fan of the sport or new to the world of short track, these facts provide a glimpse into the thrilling and dynamic world of this Olympic sport. So, sit back, enjoy the races, and let the action unfold!


Short track is a thrilling and action-packed sport that has captivated audiences around the world. With its high-speed races, tight turns, and intense competition, it’s no wonder why short track has become a fan favorite. In this article, we’ve covered 18 fascinating facts about short track, from its origins to its most legendary athletes.

From its humble beginnings in the mid-20th century to its inclusion in the Winter Olympics, short track has continually evolved and gained popularity. Whether you’re a casual fan or a die-hard enthusiast, short track offers a unique and exhilarating experience that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

So, the next time you tune in to watch short track, remember these facts and impress your friends with your knowledge of the sport.


1. How long is a short track speed skating race?

A short track speed skating race can vary in length depending on the event. The most common distances are 500 meters, 1000 meters, 1500 meters, and 3000 meters.

2. How fast do short track speed skaters go?

Short track speed skaters can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour or more during a race. Their incredible speed and agility make for an exciting and thrilling spectacle.

3. What are the rules of short track speed skating?

The rules of short track speed skating are similar to traditional speed skating. Skaters compete against each other in races around an oval ice track. Passing, blocking, and impeding other skaters are strictly regulated, and penalties are given for infractions.

4. How many athletes compete in a short track speed skating race?

In short track speed skating, multiple skaters compete together in a race. The number of athletes can vary depending on the event, with typically four to six skaters participating in each heat.

5. Can short track speed skaters change lanes during a race?

Short track speed skaters are allowed to change lanes during a race, but they must do so without impeding or blocking other skaters. Failure to do so can result in penalties or disqualification.