Consider it the edgier, thrill-seeking little brother of the traditional long-track form. Four racers line up, first to the finish line wins. No lane lines, just a pack of racers trying to outmaneuver each other to the front.
Why should you care? Because
For the men, Ohno will certainly garner all the attention. The
Celski burst onto the scene last year, finishing second overall at his first World Championships, three places higher than his teammate Ohno. But last September, Celski suffered a horrific injury at the Olympic trials, when he crashed into the boards and cut deep into his thigh with his skate. Though it's taken months to heal, Celski says he will be ready to challenge Ohno and the rest of the world in Vancouver.
The U.S. women's team won't have quite as many medal favorites as the men, but
South Korea and Canada finished in the top two spots in Turin, and again in the '07 and '08 World Championships. Neither made it to the finals in '09 because of falls, but they will be heavy favorites in Vancouver. Korea has typically come out on top, but Canada will have the home-ice advantage. If the U.S.' Celski comes out undeterred after the injury, the U.S., the '09 champs, could pull an upset.
South Korea has won 62 Winter Olympics medals, 60 in short-track speed skating. Talk about a one-trick pony.
Men's 1,500 meters: Feb. 13