Short track at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will be contested from Feb. 10-22, with medals awarded in eight different events.
Sochi in review
Russia’s Viktor Ahn skated through heavy controversy to become Sochi’s most decorated short track athlete. Ahn competed for South Korea and won four medals at the 2006 Olympics, then left his home country, claiming lack of support, to become a Russian citizen in 2011. Representing the host nation in Sochi, Ahn won three golds (500m, 1000m and 1500m relay) and a bronze medal (1500m). With eight total medals, he tied Apolo Ohno’s record for most Olympic medals won by a short track skater.
Ohno was the face of the U.S. short track team for three Olympics, but retired before the Sochi Games. Without him, the U.S. team not only couldn’t match Vancouver’s six-medal haul, but they also came close to leaving the 2014 Games empty-handed. Both J.R. Celski and Eddy Alvarez slipped and fell in the 500m race, and Celski slid out of contention again in the 1000m quarterfinal.
In the final short track race of the 2014 Olympics, the U.S. men overcame their struggles to win a silver medal in the 5000m relay event.
South Korean women claimed five medals in Sochi, including the coveted gold in the 3000m relay and an individual gold for Park Seung-hi in the 1000m.
Chinese athletes claimed first place in the other two women’s events. Li Jianrou won China’s fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 500m, finishing first by nearly six seconds—because during the first lap of the final, her three other competitors crashed.
The U.S. women didn’t make a single short-track podium, with Jessica Kooreman (nee Smith) coming close with a fourth-place finish in the 1000m and Emily Scott placing fifth in the 1500m.
Skaters will compete across the following eight events, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to the top three finishers, respectively, in each event:
- Men’s 500m
- Men’s 1000m
- Men’s 1500m
- Men’s 5000m relay
- Women’s 500m
- Women’s 1000m
- Women’s 1500m
- Women’s 3000m relay
Short track events will be held at the Gangneung Ice Arena, part of the Gangneung Olympic Park within the Gangneung coastal cluster. Constructed specifically for the 2018 Games, the arena will also play host to figure skating.
Athletes to watch
Charles Hamelin, Canada
Wu Dajing, China
Han Tianyu, China
Sandor Liu Shaolin, Hungary
J.R. Celski, United States
Marianne St-Gelais, Canada
Fan Kexin, China
Elise Christie, Great Britain
Choi Min-jeong, South Korea
Jessica Kooreman, United States