Speed Skating – Long Track

Team Canada Medal Count

Gold medal icon 10
Silver medal icon 16
Bronze medal icon 16

Sport Overview

Long Track Speed Skating at Beijing 2022

Venue: National Speed Skating Oval

Competition Dates: February 5-8, 10-13, 15, 17-19 (Days 1-4, 6-9,11, 13-15)

Events: 14 (7 men, 7 women) 

Trivia: Test your knowledge!

Long track speed skating is considered the fastest human-powered sport in the sport, with skaters reaching speeds of more than 60 km/hr. All long track speed skating events take place on a 400m oval and are timed to the hundredth of a second (0.01).

Team Canada PyeongChang 2018 Ted Jan Bloemen

In the individual distance events, skaters race in pairs against the clock. Skating counter-clockwise around the oval, the skaters change lanes once per lap to equalize the distance covered. The skater in the outside lane has the right-of-way if the two skaters arrive at the crossover point at the same time. Men and women both compete in the 500m (1 ¼ laps), 1000m (2 ½ laps), 1500m (3 ¾ laps) and 5000m (12 ½ laps). The women also have a 3000m (7 ½ laps) race while the men have a 10,000m (25 laps) race.

Team Canada Olivier Jean PyeongChang 2018

In the men’s and women’s mass start, skaters cover 16 laps of the oval. As the name implies, all competitors are on the ice at one time. During the race there are three intermediate sprints (after four, eight and 12 laps) for which skaters are awarded points (five for first, three for second, one for third) that count towards the final standings. The final sprint to the finish awards 60 points for first, 40 points for second, and 20 points for third, ensuring that the first three skaters to complete the 16 laps are also ranked as the top three in the race results.

Team Canada Ivanie Blondin Josie Morrison Isabelle Weidemann PyeongChang 2018

The men’s team pursuit event covers eight laps of the oval while the women’s team pursuit event covers six laps. Two teams of three skaters begin simultaneously on opposite sides of the oval. Team members take turns leading with the other skaters following closely behind to take advantage of drafting. The team completes the race when all three members have crossed the finish line. Olympic competition begins with the quarterfinals, held in a time trial format. The four teams with the best times advance to the semifinals where the fastest team faces the fourth-fastest and the second-fastest team faces the third-fastest. Semifinal winners compete for gold and silver, while semifinal losers compete for bronze.

Canadian History (Pre-Beijing 2022)

Canadian long track speed skaters have won 37 Olympic medals, the country’s greatest total in any winter sport.

Ted-Jan Bloemen added two medals to Canada’s total at PyeongChang 2018. He won 10,000m gold in Olympic record time after winning 5000m silver in a photo finish. He ended an 86-year Olympic medal drought for Canada in both events.

Denny Morrison

Denny Morrison was the only Canadian to win medals on the big oval at Sochi 2014, first capturing silver in the 1000m followed by bronze in the 1500m. Morrison was only able to compete in the 1000m after teammate Gilmore Junio relinquished his spot in the event, feeling that Morrison had the better shot at a medal. Morrison has four Olympic medals in his career, having previously won team pursuit gold at Vancouver 2010 (with Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux) and silver at Turin 2006.

Canada’s most decorated Winter Olympian is Cindy Klassen, who won six medals, including a remarkable five at Turin 2006. Her 3000m bronze at Salt Lake City 2002 only foreshadowed what was to come four years later when she won gold in the 1500m, silver in the 1000m and team pursuit, and bronze in the 3000m and 5000m. That is the most medals ever won by a Canadian athlete at one Olympic Games.

Klassen holding up all 5 medals

Dual sport Olympian Clara Hughes won four of her six medals in long track speed skating. She began with 5000m bronze at Salt Lake City 2002 before winning gold in that event at Turin 2006 where she also won silver with the team pursuit. She won another 5000m bronze at Vancouver 2010.

Gaetan Boucher skating

Canada has two other quadruple medallists in long track speed skating. Gaétan Boucher was a double gold medallist at Sarajevo 1984 in the 1000m and 1500m where he also won bronze in the 500m. He added those to the 1000m silver he won at Lake Placid 1980. Kristina Groves won two silver medals at Turin 2006 in the 1500m and team pursuit. She added another 1500m silver and a 3000m bronze at Vancouver 2010.

Susan Auch and Catriona Le May Doan bite their medals

Canada’s only other double gold medallist is Catriona Le May Doan, who won 500m gold at Nagano 1998 and Salt Lake City 2002 to make her the first Canadian athlete to successfully defend an individual Olympic gold medal. She also won 1000m bronze in Nagano. Rounding out Canada’s gold medallists is Christine Nesbitt who won the 1000m at Vancouver 2010.

The first Olympic success for Canadian long track speed skaters was at Lake Placid 1932 where five medals were won. Alex Hurd and Willy Logan shared the podium in the 1500m with their 2-3 finish. Hurd added a bronze in the 500m while Logan also won bronze in the 5000m. Frank Stack was the 10,000m bronze medallist. Between then and Boucher’s breakthrough, Canada won just two medals: Gordon Audley’s 500m bronze at Oslo 1952 and Cathy Priestner’s 500m silver at Innsbruck 1976.

The 500m proved to be one of Canada’s strengths. Susan Auch won back-to-back silvers at Lillehammer 1994 and Nagano 1998, sharing the podium with Le May Doan at the latter. Also sharing a 500m podium in Nagano were silver and bronze medallists Jeremy Wotherspoon and Kevin Overland (Crockett).

Canadian Medallists

Event Athlete Finish Games
Men's 1000mGaétan BoucherGoldSarajevo 1984
Men's 1500mGaétan BoucherGoldSarajevo 1984
Women's 500mCatriona Le May DoanGoldNagano 1998
Women's 500mCatriona Le May DoanGoldSalt Lake City 2002
Women's 1500mCindy KlassenGoldTurin 2006
Women's 5000mClara HughesGoldTurin 2006
Women's 1000mChristine NesbittGoldVancouver 2010
Men's Team PursuitDenny Morrison, Lucas Makowsky, Mathieu GirouxGoldVancouver 2010
Men's 10,000mTed-Jan BloemenGoldPyeongChang 2018
Women's Team Pursuit Ivanie Blondin, Valérie Maltais, Isabelle WeidemannGoldBeijing 2022
Men's 1500mAlexander HurdSilverLake Placid 1932
Women's 500mCathy PriestnerSilverInnsbruck 1976
Men's 1000mGaétan BoucherSilverLake Placid 1980
Women's 500mSusan AuchSilverLillehammer 1994
Women's 500mSusan AuchSilverNagano 1998
Men's 500mJeremy WotherspoonSilverNagano 1998
Women's 1000mCindy KlassenSilverTurin 2006
Women's 1500mKristina GrovesSilverTurin 2006
Men's Team PursuitArne Dankers, Steven Elm, Denny Morrison, Jason Parker, Justin WarsylewiczSilverTurin 2006
Women's Team PursuitKristina Groves, Clara Hughes, Cindy Klassen, Christine Nesbitt, Shannon RempelSilverTurin 2006
Women's 1500mKristina GrovesSilverVancouver 2010
Men's 1000mDenny MorrisonSilverSochi 2014
Men's 5000mTed-Jan BloemenSilverPyeongChang 2018
Women's 5000mIsabelle WeidemannSilverBeijing 2022
Men's 1000m Laurent DubreuilSilverBeijing 2022
Women's Mass Start Ivanie BlondinSilverBeijing 2022
Men's 500mAlexander HurdBronzeLake Placid 1932
Men's 1000mWilliam LoganBronzeLake Placid 1932
Men's 5000mWilliam LoganBronzeLake Placid 1932
Men's 10,000mFrank StackBronzeLake Placid 1932
Men's 500mGordon AudleyBronzeOslo 1952
Men's 500mGaétan BoucherBronzeSarajevo 1984
Men's 500mKevin Overland (Crockett)BronzeNagano 1998
Women's 1000mCatriona Le May DoanBronzeNagano 1998
Women's 3000mCindy KlassenBronzeSalt Lake City 2002
Women's 5000mClara HughesBronzeSalt Lake City 2002
Women's 3000mCindy KlassenBronzeTurin 2006
Women's 5000mCindy KlassenBronzeTurin 2006
Women's 3000mKristina GrovesBronzeVancouver 2010
Women's 5000mClara HughesBronzeVancouver 2010
Men's 1500mDenny MorrisonBronzeSochi 2014
Women's 3000m Isabelle WeidemannBronzeBeijing 2022