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Though a person has the ability to zip around an ice rink at a tremendous rate of speed, he or she may not necessarily correlate this skill with the sheer exhilaration involved in learning how to become an Olympic speed skater. Speed skating is considered the fastest human-powered sport in the world. Skaters compete in both long and short track competitions, always with the intention of racing against the clock or the other skaters on the starting line alongside them.
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Flickr: Mingo Hagen
|Education||No formal education required|
|10 yr growth||Slower than average|
|Related professions||Figure skater, ice dancer|
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Olympic Speed Skater Job Overview
In short track individual and relay events, skaters race to traverse a 111.12-meter track as quickly as possible. The Olympic races for both men and women involve 500, 1000, and 1500 meter distances. During relays, a female team of four covers 3000 meters while the male team tracks 5000 meters.
Olympic Speed Skater Long Track Event
During long track competition, athletes skate around a track that is 400 meters in length. The events in this part of the program include 500, 1000, 1500, 5000, and 10000 meter distance skates for both men and women. Additionally, two pursuit races involve female and male teams completing 6 and 8 laps, respectively.
Olympic Speed Skater Education
Speed skaters do not need to have a college education to participate in the Winter Olympic Games. In fact, a high school diploma is not even necessary. Most coaches and national governing boards, however, encourage athletes to obtain at least a high school diploma or the equivalent, granted they are old enough to have completed this level of education. An obvious commitment to educational pursuits indicates determination, one of the core values upheld by the US Speedskating organization.
Olympic Speed Skater Training
Competitive speed skaters stick to a demanding training schedule, which can involve training six days a week and up to eight hours a day. A typical workout regimen includes weight training, running, cycling, and racing around an ice rink at speeds exceeding 40 miles per hour. Those looking to take up the sport often get their bearings roller skating or inline skating before transitioning to ice. Once someone is prepared to take to the ice, speed skating clubs offer people of varying skill levels the opportunity receive coaching in an ideal setting.
Olympic Speed Skater Trials