Speed Skating

By: Manasi Ramadurgum

Speed Skating's True Nature

At first glance, speed skating seems to be a rather repetitive and dull, but if you look a little closer, you can see its other face. Supported by only thin runners on their skates, the competitors exhibit unbelievable balance. Speed skating is the fastest non-mechanical sport in the world; the skaters require incredible skill to maintain those speeds and keep in control. There's a lot more to the sport than skating around in circles.

Previously on Speed Skating

Speed skating was created in England, around the 13th century. In the Netherlands and Norway, the first competitions took place as early 1676. It became an Olympic sport in 1932, though only men could participate. However, by 1960, women were allowed to compete.


Shani Davis, an American Olympic gold medalist, is a prominent figure in speed skating history. He holds multiple world records, and was the first African American to make the US speed skating team.


Another famous speed skater is Cindy Klassen, a Canadian Olympic star. She has several world records, and is hailed as Canada's most decorated Olympian.


And that's what you missed on Speed Skating.

The 1000m Women's and Men's Event

The event I'm analyzing is the 1000m. The men's record is held by Shani Davis, at 01:0642. The women's record is held by Christine Nesbitt, at 01:12.68. There is a significant difference between these two times.

Men vs. Women

Both the times for the men and the women have been decreasing. In fact, both genders have made massive progress. However, the male times have always been significantly lower than thee female times. The intersection in the graph shows when the times would be the same, given that the women and men continue to improve as they have.
The intersection point is (486897/4007, 366086/8339), which rounds to (122, 44). That means that in the 2098 Olympics, men and women will perform equally, and do the event in 44 seconds. However, that is highly unlikely; that is far faster than any time now. So chances are that their times will never be the same.