Colombia and Chinese Taipei will make their Speed Skating Olympic debut at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. A record number of 27 nations will participate in Speed Skating events at the Gangneung Olympic Oval.
The previous record number of participating nations in Speed Skating was 25, at the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano.
Former inline skater Pedro Causil managed to win a spot for Colombia in the men’s 500m and 1000m, while Yu-Ting Huang clinched a ladies’ quota over 500m, 1000m and 1500m and Ching-Yang Sung clinched a men’s 500m ticket for Chinese Taipei. These skaters are part of the ISU Development Transition Program that is held in Salt Lake City.
Saskia Alusalu grabbed the first ever ladies’ Olympic ticket for Estonia. The Baltic country only participated in Speed Skating at the 1928 and 1936 Olympics, while ladies’ Speed Skating has been at the Olympics since 1960. Marten Liiv also grabbed a quota for Men 1000m.
The Netherlands is the only nation to have won the maximum number of Olympic berths in Speed Skating: 17 in both the men’s and the ladies’ events. Canada and Japan also took 17 spots in the ladies’ events.
Nations that have been allocated quota places for all events/distances, are allowed a maximum number of ten participants in both the men’s and ladies’ competitions. Other nations are allowed a maximum number of eight men and ladies.
Apart from the Netherlands, Canada is the only other nation allowed to send the maximum of 20 (10 men and 10 ladies) Speed Skaters to PyeongChang 2018. Although the Canadian men came two quota places short of the maximum, both the men and ladies’ did clinch tickets for all events.