How Fast Do Speed Skaters Go

How Fast Do Speed Skaters Go

Explosiveness, balance, and endurance are all crucial in speed skating, an Olympic sport.

In total, 14 distance-based competitions are available to both men and women.

Skaters compete in timed events while wearing protective ice suits and clapping skates with blades ranging in length from 14 to 18 inches.

How Fast Do Speed Skaters Go

As of the 17th of February, Team USA is currently ranked fifth in the overall Winter Olympics medal tally thanks to their three speed-skating medalists (one gold, two bronze).

Erin Jackson, 29, made history on February 13 by becoming the first Black American woman to win a medal in speed skating when she took first place in the women’s 500-meter event.

How Fast Do Speed Skaters Go

Long-track speed skaters can typically hit speeds over 35 mph, while short-track skaters can typically reach speeds over 30 mph.

Athletes have to make sharp, quick turns while racing at high speed around the oval, which makes speed a significant challenge.

How Fast Do Speed Skaters Go On Ice and On The Road?

Official Olympic website claims 31 mph for short track speed skaters on ice (50 kph). Even inline skating comes dangerously close.

While 25 miles per hour on ice is considered pretty fast, maintaining that pace for an entire kilometre is going significantly faster than running.

And Canadian Charles Hamelin set the Olympic record for ice skating at the 2018 Pyeongchang games with a time of 1 minute, 23 seconds for 1000 metres (but slower than cycling).

When compared to rollerblading, inline skating on a track or road is marginally slower.

However, to give an idea of just how narrowly, Bart Swings of Belgium set the world record for the 1000 metre run in Geisingen, Germany, in 2014, clocking in at 1 minute and 17 seconds.

That’s a mean velocity of about 25 knots (if you’re into such things) or 29 miles per hour (46.7 kilometres per hour).

That means the inline skater completed the distance at a faster average speed than the Olympic record holder (and probably maximum as well).


Speed skating, like all ice sports, requires tremendous stamina, balance, and endurance. However, lightning quick speed is also required.

When I first heard about the speeds at which Olympic speed skaters can skate, I nearly lost my balance. Thanks for reading our article How Fast Do Speed Skaters Go.


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