Kazakhstan participated at its first winter Olympics in Lillehammer 1994 – and it was a glorious event for the nation that had only just become independent from the Soviet Union: cross country skiing ace Vladimir Smirnov won a gold medal, two silvers and a bronze.
The USA may be one of the world’s biggest sporting superpowers, but when it comes to Short Track Speed Skating, they are still outsiders. USA athletes have won just two Short Track Speed Skating silver medals at the past two Olympic Winter Games. However, a new generation is hoping to change all that. And it is their excellent female skaters in particular, including Kristen Santos, Maame Biney and Corinne Stoddard, who are leading the charge.
Sweden may be a winter sports powerhouse when it comes to Alpine skiing, ice hockey, cross-country, biathlon and curling – but its Short Track Speed Skating team is so little that it’s barely there. “We are a very small group,” admits Erika Lindgren, 21, one of Scandinavia’s most promising racers. “We never have much opportunity to skate at home because it isn’t a big sport here, we have to fight for ice time. I’ve trained in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland and Latvia in the past. We have some other good skaters, like Fabrice Dufberg and Jacob Janssen, but I’m not sure what their training plans are at the moment.”
Former Short Track Speed Skater Eddy Alvarez joined a highly selective group on August 7, 2021 at Tokyo 2020. He was a crucial member of the USA team that won the silver medal in men’s baseball, losing to Japan in the final.
When you aren’t feeling your best, you discover who your true friends are. For skater Erika Lindgren, the Short Track world showed her incredible warmth and support during her struggles with mental health issues.
Switzerland is a winter sports superpower, its all-conquering Alpine skiers in particular having a rich history in Olympic Winter Games. The nation has had success in Figure Skating and Speed Skating, but is yet to win a medal in Short Track. How can this be in a land packed with ice rinks? Thibault Metraux explains.
Having swapped the ice for the diamond, the late-blooming baseballer is on the brink of an unusual double. Eddy Alvarez is about to achieve something special. At Tokyo 2020, not only was he the Team USA flag bearer he will also join the rare group of athletes who have competed at summer and winter Olympic Games.
The pandemic meant that there was no such thing as a “normal” week for the world’s number one-ranked male Short Track Speed Skater – but Park Ji Won was trying to remain patient while normality slowly resumed.
A year ago, life seemed good for Kyle Ross-Waddell: the young Short Track Speed Skater had made his debut on the ISU World Cup circuit, and was being mentioned as a potential candidate to make the Great Britain team for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
New Zealand's former Short Track Speed Skater Blake Skjellerup is the special guest on the latest edition of The Ice Skating Podcast, produced to celebrate Pride month.
Shaoang Liu has never found elite sport to be a lonely place. Unlike many of his peers, the 2021 overall ISU World Short Track Speed Skating champion has never felt alone.
Italian Short Track Speed Skating legend Arianna Fontana is targeting her fifth Olympic Winter Games at Beijing 2022.
Katrin Manoilova is one of just two Bulgarian Short Track Speed Skaters to have won any sort of Olympic medal but, when asked to explain the status of the sport in her homeland, she is adamant only one of them really registers.
With the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games getting closer, Dutch Short Track Speed Skater Sjinkie Knegt still seeks daily improvement after coming back from two horrific injuries. “I am happy I came this far, but I still hope to improve and get better in the future,” Knegt said.
They often get super nervous when they watch each other’s races, sometimes even a bit frustrated if things don’t go as planned. But most importantly, siblings Hanne and Stijn Desmet (BEL) enjoy living the Short Track Speed Skating life together. “It’s nice to always have someone around you can talk to and be close with,” they said.