2018 Winter Olympics: Speed Skating Guide and Preview for PyeongChang

With the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea fast approaching, here’s everything you need to know about speed skating.
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With the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea fast approaching, here’s everything you need to know about speed skating.

The Olympics begin Thursday, Feb. 8 and conclude Sunday, Feb. 25. Speed skating will be contested from Feb. 10 to 24 with medals on the line for 14 different events. At the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the Netherlands won eight out of 12 available gold medals but did manage to claim a medal in every event.

Check out the full speed skating schedule here.

In December, Sports Illustrated published a Rookie's Guide to Speed Skating with information about the background, selection process, rules and format of the sport. I challenge you to read that guide and not want to watch speed skating at this year's Olympics. The competition is going to be a lot of fun.

In the January 29-February 5 Olympic Preview issue of Sports Illustrated’s magazine, our expert Brian Cazeneuve gave his medal predictions. Here are his picks for speed skating:



500 Meters

Gold: Ronald Mulder, Netherlands

Silver: Kai Verbij, Netherlands

Bronze: Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen, Norway

Mulder’s twin, Michel, won the 500-meter long-track event in Sochi and came in third at 1,000 meters.

1,000 Meters

Gold: Kjeld Nuis, Netherlands

Silver: Kai Verbij, Netherlands

Bronze: Vincent De Haître, Canada

De Haître was Canada’s 1,000-meter track cycling champ in 2013.

1,500 Meters

Gold: Denis Yuskov, Russia

Silver: Koen Verweij, Netherlands

Bronze: Kjeld Nuis, Netherlands

Born in Moscow, Yuskov, who thought he was going to soccer practice at his first training session, grew up in Moldova.

5,000 Meters

Gold: Sven Kramer, Netherlands

Silver: Ted-Jan Bloemen, Canada

Bronze: Nicola Tumolero, Italy

Dual citizen Bloemen is a Dutch native.

10,000 Meters

Gold: Sven Kramer, Netherlands

Silver: Jorrit Bergsma, Netherlands

Bronze: Patrick Beckert, Germany

Kramer’s girlfriend, Naomi van As, won two Olympic golds in field hockey.

Team Pursuit

Gold: Netherlands

Silver: Norway

Bronze: Canada

Dutch skaters won eight of 12 races in Sochi.

Mass Start

Gold: Lee Seung-hoon, South Korea

Silver: Joey Mantia, U.S.

Bronze: Sven Kramer, Netherlands

Mantia twice won Pan-Am Games golds in in-line skating.


500 Meters

Gold: Nao Kodaira, Japan

Silver: Lee Sang-hwa, South Korea

Bronze: Arisa Go, Japan

Two-time Olympic champ Lee turns 29 on the day of the closing ceremony.

1,000 Meters

Gold: Nao Kodaira, Japan

Silver: Miho Takagi, Japan

Bronze: Heather Bergsma, U.S.

Bergsma and her Dutch husband, Jorrit, have combined for 23 worlds medals.

1,500 Meters

Gold: Miho Takagi, Japan

Silver: Marrit Leenstra, Netherlands

Bronze: Ireen Wüst, Netherlands

Takagi was a 2010 Olympian at age 15.

3,000 Meters

Gold: Martina Sábliková, Czech Republic

Silver: Claudia Pechstein, Germany

Bronze: Antoinette de Jong, Netherlands

European 3K champ Esmee Visser made the Dutch team only at 5K.

5,000 Meters

Gold: Martina Sábliková, Czech Republic

Silver: Natalia Voronina, Russia

Bronze: Claudia Pechstein, Germany

Sábliková is a former national cycling champ in the time trial.

Mass Start

Gold: Francesca Lollobrigida, Italy

Silver: Kim Bo-reum, South Korea

Bronze: Guo Dan, China

The mass start returns to the Olympics after an 86-year layoff.

Team Pursuit

Gold: Netherlands

Silver: Japan

Bronze: Germany

Dutch skaters won 23 medals in Sochi; Poland was next with three.

Short Track


500 Meters

Gold: Wu Dajing, China

Silver: Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary

Bronze: Samuel Girard, Canada

Wu says his sports hero is Michael Phelps.

1,000 Meters

Gold: Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary

Silver: Wu Dajing, China

Bronze: Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea

Sándor’s girlfriend is Elise Christie.

1,500 Meters

Gold: Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea

Silver: Charles Hamelin, Canada

Bronze: Sjinkie Knegt, Netherlands

In 2014, Knegt became the first Dutch person to win a short-track medal.

5,000-Meter Relay

Gold: South Korea

Silver: Canada

Bronze: Netherlands

The U.S. team could nab a medal.


500 Meters

Gold: Choi Min-jeong, South Korea

Silver: Marianne St-Gelais, Canada

Bronze: Elise Christie, Great Britain

South Korea has never won gold or silver at 500.

1,000 Meters

Gold: Choi Min-jeong, South Korea

Silver: Kim Boutin, Canada

Bronze: Elise Christie, Great Britain

Christie has dyed her hair a dozen different colors before events.

1,500 Meters

Gold: Choi Min-jeong, South Korea

Silver: Shim Suk-hee, South Korea

Bronze: Kim Boutin, Canada

In 2015, Choi was world champ at age 16.

3,000-Meter Relay

Gold: South Korea

Silver: China

Bronze: Canada

All but five of South Korea’s 26 winter golds have come in short track.

Check out Brian’s medal predictions for all 102 events in the magazine.