How it Works
As is the case with most fast-paced Olympic racing events, short track speed skating has become a fan-favorite competition despite officially debuting on the program just 26 years ago in the 1992 Winter Games. The United States, Canada, and South Korea have dominated the competition since that time, winning 104 of the 120 possible medals. And since the event is in Pyeongchang, you can expect great fanfare surrounding the event from the South Korean team and fans.
Most American fans associate all-time great Apolo Anton Ohno with the sport, who won eight total medals in his Olympic career before retiring. However, Olympic champion Victor An of Russia will also be a glaring absence this year despite winning three golds at Sochi in 2014. An was recently added to the list of Russian competitors banned from the Games as part of a widespread doping scandal. Some Russian competitors will be allowed to participate in the Games, but not under the Russian flag.
Short track requires athletes to compete in four-to-six person heats. A certain number of competitors advance through rounds until the final, which determines the medal-winners. They must skate a pre-determined number of laps around an oval track—some races require more laps to complete than others.
Here are the events that are a part of Short Track Speed Skating as well as a 2018 Olympic schedule.
Other than the relay, all the short-track speed skating events are pretty straightforward. Competitors can not impede one another through pushing, blocking, tripping, etc. The relay offers an interesting twist—teammates can pass the baton at any point in the race to one another, unlike track events, which require athletes to cover the same distance. However, the final two laps must be skated by one athlete for each team.
- Men’s 1500 m heats and final: Feb. 10, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Men’s 1000 m heats: Feb. 13, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Men’s 5000 m relay heats: Feb.13, 5:00 a.m.EST
- Men’s 1000 m final: Feb. 17, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Men’s 500 m heats: Feb. 20, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Men’s 500 m final: Feb. 22, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Men’s 5000 m relay final: Feb. 22, 5:00 a.m. EST
The only change from men’s to women’s events comes in the relay, which covers 3000 meters instead of 5000.
- Women’s 3000 m relay heats: Feb. 10, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Women’s 500 m heats: Feb. 10, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Women’s 500 m final: Feb. 13, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Women’s 1500 m heats and final: Feb. 17, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Women’s 1000 m heats: Feb. 20, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Women’s 3000 m relay final: Feb.20, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Women’s 1000 m final: Feb. 22, 5:00 a.m. EST
How to Watch
As you can tell, the times of this event aren’t particularly conducive to most American television viewing schedules, as will be the case for a sizable portion of the Games. However, you can check official TV listings for the Games for more information. They will certainly include tape-delayed events, and you’ll be able to live stream more than 1,800 hours of Olympic coverage online, including speed-skating competitions.
For Cord-Cutters, here’s a list of services that allow you to stream the Olympics. The 2018 Olympic Games are on NBC. Here are the streaming services that carry NBC:
For more details about these services and details about the Olympic Games, visit our main 2018 Winter Olympics page.