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Better than NASCAR

Posted by Hannah / March 28, 2006

skaters.jpgImage from Speed Skating Canada

It was quite possibly the most poorly advertised international sports event ever. No matter how breath-taken you were by the Olympic speed skating from Torino, nothing beats seeing it live. These spandex clad skaters zipped around a short track--about 150 metres--at the Maurice Richard Arena near the Big O on Saturday and Sunday, at speeds approaching 45 km/hour. It was a speed skating show down of Olympic proportions. Many of the skaters had met in Torino a little more than a month ago.

The crashes were spectacular. Especially that of the South Korean who made a serious stab at first place in the men's 3000 m race, edging up on Canadian Charles Hamelin in the last of 27 laps. He might have done it too, if he hadn't caught a nick in the ice in the last 20-odd metres and flown into the heavily padded boards after the last turn. Even his little yellow bonnet was plucked from his head. This is better than NASCAR, kids.

And seriously, who ever decided that short track speed skating needed a relay race, where team members push each other at the transition. Blades, ice and shoving. Makes tons of sense. What's wrong with a baton? It's more elegant at least.

With a melee of 12 skaters from four different teams in the middle of the rink, it's no wonder the women's team screwed up their order, missed a transition and fell to third place early in their relay. They caught up, but it wasn't enough.

In the end, the men won silver and the women bronze. If you happen to be in Minneapolis next weekend, you can watch the individual finals.



rrrobyn / March 30, 2006 at 12:41 am
I totally agree! The crashes! Crazy! Speedskating is the greatest.
J Mac / March 30, 2006 at 09:50 am
Hey, also, I noticed that the Gazoo did cover the final day. Did you see that?

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