Speed Skating


Old School, Still Cool

The gun fires and there off....... Wow, they are super fast! Olympic Speed Skaters commonly skate 48 k/hr or about 30 mph. Speed Skating is a competitive form of ice skating where competitors race a specified distance, in this case 1000 meters. Races take place on a "long track" which is 400 meters long. Speed Skating is one of the oldest Winter Olympic Events dating back to 1924, when the first Winter Olympic Games were held. Today, Speed Skating is very popular in the Netherlands, where the sport originated, Norway, Germany and Canada. The sport has World Cup events held in many different countries including the U.S.

Women vs. Men

Women began competing in Speed Skating in the Olympics in 1960. Although women do not race against men, comparing the times over each Olympics can determine the conclusions.

What is the Goal of the Study?

Using linear regressions and mathematical predictions, the trends of performance for men and women can be determined for a single Speed Skating event. By using the following data and linear equations, it can show which gender is faster. It can also predict future performance.

The Graph

The red squares are men athletes and

the black squares are women athletes.

The Line of Best Fit

These are the equations for the lines of best fit. The first one is the men's line. The second one is the women's line.

The Intersection Point

The intersection point indicates at what point in time that one gender starts to out perform the other. In this study women start to out perform the men at the intersection point which is 228 years in the future, or 2242. The trend shows that the male and female athletes are both getting faster at Speed Skating according to this data.

The X Coordinate

The independent variable represents years on a timeline. The x coordinate is 228. 228 years from now is 2242, which is a Winter Olympic year. 2242 is the first year when women competitors will start out performing men competitors.

The Y Coordinate

The dependent variable represents the expected time for a gold medalist in the 2242 Winter Olympics for men and women. The projected gold medalist time is 7.063 seconds. The data shows that women are closing the gap and catching up to the men. The predictions based on the linear equations show that the women will surpass the men in performance by a narrow margin in 2242.