Speed Skating - Long and Short of it - Spoiler-free

Ale Xander

Lacks black ink
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
23,816
What is this Mass Start - Like Nascar, thing that Katie and Mike mentioned too briefly?

Does Shani get another medal?

Discuss.
 

swiftaw

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2009
1,985
It’s long track speed skating but rather than 2 skaters in separate lanes I think it’s like 20 skaters.
 

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,714
Alberta
The mass start is a kind of awkward construct, fun to watch and blisteringly fast - but really a poor one-shot event. This sort of thing is best judged in the aggregate, maybe over 5 or more races.

Shani so far this season hasn’t been his old self - but he only needs one good race, so I’d never count him out.

Look for Heather Richardson-Bergsma to be the best US chance for a medal, and Joey Mantia maybe in 1500m (and his speed and skill buy him more tickets than others in the mass-start lottery, but it’s still as much a game of chance as it is a race)

Also - US men have been pretty competitive in the Team pursuit event, and with 3 medals/8 teams the odds are simply better in that event than any other. The US women SHOULD, with Richardson-Bergsma, Brittany Bowe and don’t-screw-up #3 skater, have been contenders - but with Richardson-Bergsma refusing to skate it earlier this season (most likely at the request of her Dutch sponsor) they didn’t qualify.
 
Last edited:

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,714
Alberta
As for Short Track - Maame Biney is going to be US speed skating’s next great hope...she’s still green and young, but at the US Trials she pretty much hyperspaced the field in first half lap of every 500m race she skated. In the longer races it took her a few to figure out she’s just BETTER than the rest of the Americans. This Games may not be “Her” Games quite yet - but her time will come.

John Henry Krueger is a solid presence in every distance, which is what you need to be in Short Track (think lottery tickets, the more you buy, the better your chances), more so the 1000m and 1500m than 500m.

Like in Long Track, the men’s team event is a juicy medal chance at 3/8 odds off the bat sweetened by the fact the US team is actually pretty good. Three out of the four guys were on the world record setting team this fall (understanding that they wheel sucked Korea and Celski passed on the last lap - kind of like how he got the 500m World Record [World Records don’t mean shit in short track])
 

SeoulSoxFan

Dope
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
19,313
S.K's strongest event, netting over half of the host country's total gold medal tally. Like archery, it's often more difficult to make the National team than to medal at an international competition.

Men's team had a poor showing at Sochi but they're featuring a whole new team, including 1500m's #1 ranked Hyojun Lim. Women's team is also expected to bring in at least 2-3 golds, including the controlled havoc known as the 3000m relay.

The helmet is also kick-ass:



Few items to note when watching the event:

- The numbers you see on the sides of each competitor's helmet represents his/her current world ranking

- The uniforms are now designed to integrate each country's flag, making it much easier to identify each skater (sorry, OAR)

- The ice is managed under the direction of former S.K. gold medalists and is said to be in perfect condition
 
Last edited:

SeoulSoxFan

Dope
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
19,313
SK's Women's team set an Olympic Record in the qualification round for the 3000m relay...

...AFTER one of the skaters fell and got behind by half a rink. They're on another level.
 

MiracleOfO2704

not AWOL
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
6,088
The Island
FnL, what do you think of Canada's chances in both disciplines? I just caught the end of the 3000m women's and the Dutch swept the podium (no shock there), and Blondin came in 6th.
 

Ale Xander

Lacks black ink
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
23,816
I already made a speed skating tread. Do you want to me to make it long only?

And can you put spoiler tag? Most of us are not in Korea.
 

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,714
Alberta
Wow, the country that has exponentially more athletes in the sport than all the other countries combined, probably 2/3 or more of the facilities for it in on Earth, pays attention to and enjoys the sport at all levels all four years won all the medals at the Olympics...shocking.
 

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,714
Alberta
I believe our spoiler protocol is that there’s one thread that’s spoiler free and the rest are for people who got up early to watch live to discuss freely.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
35,772
Seems like speed skating must be one of the sports where we only medal with a once-in-a-generation athlete like Davis or Ohno. Mostly non-competitive in every race so far here.
 

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,714
Alberta
Brittany Bowe was fourth and fifth. That’s pretty solid, considering there are 7 or 8 billion people on earth...but maybe your bar is high.

Plus, if you’re counting Short Track (which you must be, if you mention Ohno)...

Never mind...I will post later...
 

BigMike

Dope
Dope
Sep 26, 2000
21,648
Seems like speed skating must be one of the sports where we only medal with a once-in-a-generation athlete like Davis or Ohno. Mostly non-competitive in every race so far here.
It is a very bad era for USA speedskating right now. Here are the number of medals the USA has won by olympics

2014 0
2010 4
2006 7
2002 8
1998 2
1994 3
1992 2
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
35,772
Brittany Bowe was fourth and fifth. That’s pretty solid, considering there are 7 or 8 billion people on earth...but maybe your bar is high.

Plus, if you’re counting Short Track (which you must be, if you mention Ohno)...

Never mind...I will post later...
Aha, serves me right. Short track is wild as always.

My bar is probably too high because I’m using the Summer Games as a reference point, when I know the Winter sports are far more niche in this country once you get past the skiing and snowboarding. And I doubt we throw anywhere near the kind of resources some of these other countries will pour into their programs when they want to flex some international muscle.
 

shawnrbu

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
25,720
The Land of Fist Pumps
Norway adding speed skating gold in the men's 500m, breaking an Olympic Record that was set earlier in the heat.

Sorry! Added spoiler tag. Originally posted comment after watching event on NBCSN this afternoon.
 
Last edited:

StupendousMan

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,044
^^^ Spoiler, please. Some of us hope to watch these events at night on NBC.
 

budcrew08

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 30, 2007
5,825
upstate NY
Spoilering a result I saw today because I’m not sure if it will be on in prime time.
US women fourth in the team pursuit. Good news, they have a 75 percent chance to medal. Bad news, they face the Dutch in the semifinal.
 

Mr. Wednesday

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 27, 2007
1,056
Eastern MA
Spoilering a result I saw today because I’m not sure if it will be on in prime time.
US women fourth in the team pursuit. Good news, they have a 75 percent chance to medal. Bad news, they face the Dutch in the semifinal.
More like, they have a 50/50 chance to beat Canada for bronze.
 

StupendousMan

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,044
Thanks to all for the spoiler tags. I look forward to reading your posts after tonight's TV coverage!
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
11,854
California. Duh.
I'll spoiler in case people watch a replay later.

Korea wins the women's short track3000m relay, and after China and Canada are DQ'd, the Netherlands wins the bronze without even being in the final (but setting a WR in the B final earlier).

I'd love if someone that knows this sport better than me can take a look and try to explain it, because to me, the entire mess started when a Korean that had just made an exchange fell over and took the Canada skater out, so I'm not sure how Korea wasn't penalized and the other 2 were.
 

Schnerres

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 28, 2009
1,517
Germany
As someone else asked in another thread: why do you check this thread about speed skating, if you don´t want to see the comments about races, because you will see the races later that night?
When I watched the SuperBowl on Monday afternoon (in Germany) the last two times, I didn´t check my smartphone, I didn´t check this forum. Why would I check a SB thread and post "oh, please spoiler your contents, I will watch the SB now." That´s just dumb.
Next step: "Please close these forums, I will watch the Olympics on my DVD later in three months, as I don´t have the time to watch them now."
 

BigMike

Dope
Dope
Sep 26, 2000
21,648
Like I can see the spoiler stuff for some Olympics, and for the "Prime events"

For example if it is a marquee event which is taking place from 5-7:30 EST, but will be broadcast from 9-11:30 on the networks. I can see wanting a thread where the 80% of the people who will watch the primetime broadcast of the event would want to talk about things as they are broadcast (even if they actually happened 2 hours earlier).. Great examples might be things like Gymnastics, or figure skating in most Olympics.

Something like the team pursuit, which I guess may have been shown at some point on some network, but may never be shown in primetime, I think is a tougher call.
 

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,714
Alberta
Well, I know I feel like making a comment right at the time of the event but am not nimble on my phone with the spoiler tag...so I just don’t bother...

...and by the time it has aired on the History Channel, I have forgotten what I was going to say - or am more interested in what’s next.
 

Mr. Wednesday

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 27, 2007
1,056
Eastern MA
Am I crazy for thinking the fix was in on the short track relay final? Looked like a clear penalty on Korea to me. Unless there had been something earlier in the race to knock Canada out?
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
35,772
Short track stresses me out. I see fouls in every race and they never seem to be the ones that are ultimately called. Obviously I’m not familiar with the ins and outs of the rule book.
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
11,854
California. Duh.
Am I crazy for thinking the fix was in on the short track relay final? Looked like a clear penalty on Korea to me. Unless there had been something earlier in the race to knock Canada out?
I posted about that late last night (in a spoiler). While watching live it was totally clear that the Korean took out the Canadian. Watched the rest of the race wondering how the crowd was going to react when the DQ was announced. Then suddenly almost everyone EXCEPT them was penalized.

Any time I think about short track and whether something was fair I remember the Australian guy in 2002 that went from last place to the gold in the last turn when everyone in front of him wiped out. Sometimes it's just complete luck.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
35,772
Just watched this again and have no idea how Canada was penalized here. Not only was the Korean pusher clearly in the way on the push, the pushee cut the Canadian skier off on the previous turn after missing the previous tag. That is, the Korean skater who had failed to tag in, so to speak, cruised right in front of the Canadian skater who was the legal skater at the time. So the Canadian has to slow down to avoid a skater who wasn’t in the race but was running interference for her partner to make a move. How is that allowed? Could Rosie Ruiz have laced up halfway through the race to give someone a push?
 

BigMike

Dope
Dope
Sep 26, 2000
21,648
I can't imagine that if that event were held anywhere else in the world that the judging would have been the same. It is baffling.

Was the foul called on the previous lap before the accident. I notices the Korean skater missed the push on the previous rotation when everyone else changed.

Honestly I don't understand the rules even. Are you able to make tags on the relay at any time, or are you only supposed to do it on the back stretch, etc. Does everyone have to skate the same laps, or if you have one great skater, could you let them take say the last 4-5 laps without change.
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
11,854
California. Duh.
I believe the only rules are that every skater has to do at least a lap during the race and the final skater has to skate the last 2. The changes can happen anytime on either straightaway.
 

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,714
Alberta
The point of going for the early sprints in the final is to lock up 4th place.

The scoring works that first through third in the final sprint get first through third overall, then the next point scorers get 4th through whatever place the lowest actual point getter gets, THEN whoever was next in the final sprint. In theory you could be 4th in the final sprint but get 9th overall in the race.

AND in a world where “medals matter”, who would actually shoot for fourth? Well, if you know you’re not really IN the medal hunt, that 4th in many countries can shore up your government funding for the next four years...

...and while there’s no Russians in the event today, if a medalist pops for doping...you will get a bronze in the mail.
 

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,714
Alberta
...a strange twist to the rules though - if anyone in the top 3 is disqualified for on-ice race infractions at any point in the race, the 4th place final sprint finisher moves up into 3rd overall - so a DQ could vault a guy from 9th to a medal.

I mean to ask an ISU rep what would happen in the event of a doping positive later - it’s definitely their aim to make the medalists be the top 3 in that last sprint...
 

cromulence

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2009
4,445
Mass start seems very similar to indoor cycling with the point system and the sprint laps. It's weird, but I kind of like it. It definitely works better in cycling, though, because it lasts so much longer so there's more time for the best athletes to rise to the top.
 

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,714
Alberta
When they decided to add a mass start event to the program, ISU concocted this odd hybrid race format really unlike how group racing is done anywhere in the world.

This is 15-20 on the line for a 15 lap race (a little more than 5000m). In US, Canada and Japan (as I best know), mass start/packstyle is 6-8 on the line for shorter races like 500m, 1000m and 1500m...and in the Netherlands it’s more marathon style where you get 40 or so on the line for a 100 lap race (at around 30 seconds a lap - a true marathon is an awesome spectacle).

I think the motivation here was to find a format that works for skaters already at the Games for another event...
 

Ale Xander

Lacks black ink
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
23,816
I am never going to understand this Mass Start thing for speed skating.

Did Sven get shot at the end or something or was he just toying with the field for his teammate to get a medal?
 

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,714
Alberta
Kramer made the move he did to break the field up - even he couldn’t keep that speed until the finish. Thing is, his team mate knew when it was going to happen - everyone else had to react to the jump. Mantia missed it, and it cost him a medal.