Speed skating promises to be a spectacle at Lausanne 2020. Athletes will be competing for gold in St Moritz, the historical Alpine resort which has hosted two Winter Olympics.
But it gets better – the speed skating will take place outdoors on a sustainable frozen lake.
The lake has held golf, cricket and polo events in the past, and now the impressive venue is gearing up for the lung-busting sport that is speed skating.
The 500m and 1500m events
Both the men’s and women’s 500m and 1500m races see skaters race in pairs. One skater starts on the inside lane, the other on the outside lane, and they only switch lanes at the crossing straight.
The skater who posts the fastest time wins.
How does the mass start work?
The women’s and men’s mass start races are 4000m long – 10 laps each. There is an intermediate sprint after five laps, which sees the first three skaters receiving 5-3-1 points accordingly.
The final sprint ultimately decides the medals, with the first three skaters over the line receiving 30, 20 and 10 points in that order.
Those who scored in the intermediate sprint but not the final sprint can place fourth through to sixth, even if they finish off the pace in the final sprint. Skaters without race points are then placed based on where they finished in the final sprint, and then on how many laps completed if they do not finish the race.
The Mixed NOC Team Sprint
The Youth Olympic Games has sought to bring nations together, and speed skating is no exception. The Mixed NOC Team Sprint will see 14 teams comprised of four athletes – all from different NOCs. Each skater completes one lap of the 400m course, with two teams taking part in each heat.
There is only one competition lane in place, while the fastest overall time wins gold.
Speed skating schedule for Lausanne 2020
Sunday, January 12
11:00 - 14:00 - Women's/Men's 500m
Monday, January 13
11:00 - 14:00 - Women's/Men's 1500m
Wednesday, January 15
11:00 - 12:00 - Mixed NOC Team Sprint
Thursday, January 16
11:00 - 12:00 - Women's/Men's Mass Start