Calgary-Speed-Skating

Calgary Speed Skating in Olympic Games

Speed Skating had already gained popularity across the world before 1900 and after having several discussions for including this into the Olympic Games and looking at the statistics the figure skating had produced in the 1908 Olympic Games, the delegates from the Olympic Congress decided to include Speed Skating in the next Olympic games to be held in 1916. Because of the World War I, Olympic Games were cancelled and Speed Skating could not enter into Olympics. The Winter Sports events in Chamonix in 1924, which was later officially considered and awarded the Olympic Status, had included this game.

In the Chamonix sports events in 1924, Chalres Jewtrw from Lake Placid, New York had won the first gold medal in Olympics with many conflicts and concerns raised by Norwegians saying Oskar Oslen did better but was not considered for the gold medal. Olympic Committee resolved this by making the manual clock as the reason. Finland had the best performance in Speed Skating in 1924 games claiming four gold medals. This was the only Olympic Games that had all-round Gold medal for Speed Skating and it has never been in practice thereafter.

World Championships between the World War I and II had witnessed speed skating too with increasing number of participating countries that clearly indicated the rising popularity of this sport. Skaters from Olivia and Finnish were the best performers in the championships between World War I and II and the skaters from Latvia and Austria had also performed well but despite that all gold medals were won by Olivia and Finnish skaters.

While North America and Netherlands had conducted packstyle races mostly, Olympic Games included the four standard track distances as approved by International Skating Union (founded in 1892 by fifteen national meetings held at Scheveningen). But North America had convinced the ISU Committee for organizing packstyle races in the 1932 Winter Olympic Games and with no surprise, Americans were the best performer in the event and bagged all four gold medals with Canada claiming all silver & bronze medals. The 1932 Winter Olympic did not have the then defending World Champion in the sport; Clas Thunberg. Clas Thunberg was not convinced with the packstyle racing and he kept himself out of the game to protest against the same. However, Norwegian skaters won all distances in the World Championship held right after the 1932 Winter Olympics.

The mass-start races were condemned by many countries including Norway, Sweden, and Finns & Japan and to resolve this ISU had introduced the short-track speed skating for mass-start and traveling through international competitions from 1976, Speed Skating reached back to the Olympic Games in 1992.

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