We are reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.Β Learn more.

Speed skating, a high-speed winter sport requiring strength and balance, attracts attention from around the world.

Numerous renowned championships showcase the talent and competition in this dynamic sport.

Here is an overview of the most important speed skating competitions.

Most Important Speed Skating Tournaments:

  1. World Championships
  2. Olympic Games
  3. European Championships
  4. World Sprint Championships
  5. World Allround Championships
  6. World Cup
  7. National Championships
  8. World Team Championships
  9. World Junior Championships
  10. World Single Distances Championships
  11. World Masters Championships
  12. World Short Track Speed Skating Championships
  13. European Short Track Speed Skating Championships
  14. North American Championships
  15. Asian Speed Skating Championships
  16. Oceanic Speed Skating Championships
  17. Asian Short Track Speed Skating Championships
  18. Four Continents Speed Skating Championships
  19. Continental Short Track Speed Skating Championships
  20. Master’s International Speed Skating Championships

#1 World Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 1893
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individuals and national teams (team pursuit & team sprint)

The World Speed Skating Championships, organized by the International Skating Union (ISU), are the utmost showcase of individual and team performances in speed skating.

The Netherlands historically dominates the event with a plethora of titles. Memorable records have been set in these championships, with skaters like Sven Kramer and Ireen WΓΌst making their mark.

#2 Olympic Games

  • πŸ“Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 1924
  • πŸ”„ Held: Every 4 years
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

As part of the Winter Olympic Games, speed skating has been a staple event since 1924. Medals are awarded across various distances and disciplines, with the Olympics being the pinnacle of success for many athletes.

The Netherlands is the most decorated nation in Olympic speed skating history, with Eric Heiden and Claudia Pechstein among the sport’s legends.

#3 European Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across Europe
  • πŸ“… Established: 1990
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The European Speed Skating Championships is a prestigious competition that brings together the best skaters from European nations. The competition consists of sprint and allround disciplines, showcasing an array of talent.

The Dutch have been historically dominant in this championship, and notable skaters like Sven Kramer, Ireen WΓΌst, and Martina SΓ‘blΓ­kovΓ‘ have left their mark on the event.

#4 World Sprint Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 1970
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

Focused on short distances, the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships showcases the fastest skaters in the sport.

This annual event has historically been dominated by skaters from the United States, the Netherlands, and Germany. The legendary Jeremy Wotherspoon from Canada holds the record for most titles in the men’s competition.

#5 World Allround Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 1893
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The World Allround Speed Skating Championships test the overall ability of athletes across various distances.

Traditionally dominated by European nations like the Dutch and the Norwegians, the competition has also seen success from US and Japanese skaters. Legendary athletes such as Oscar Mathisen, Sven Kramer, and Ireen WΓΌst have multiple titles in this competition.

#6 World Cup

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 1985
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The Speed Skating World Cup is a season-long competition involving a series of events and ranking points.

Countries like the Netherlands, Norway, and Canada have been historically strong in this competition. The World Cup has produced memorable moments and contributes significantly to the sport’s international popularity.

#7 National Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Various countries
  • πŸ“… Established: Varies by country
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National club/individual skaters

National Speed Skating Championships, held within individual countries, serve as a platform for regional talent and foster the growth of the sport at a grassroots level.

Each nation has its championship format, with countries like the Netherlands, USA, Canada, and Norway boasting strong domestic competitions. These championships build the foundation for future international successes in the sport.

#8 World Team Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 2005
  • πŸ”„ Held: Every 2 years
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The World Team Speed Skating Championships emphasize teamwork and tactical strategy in speed skating. Teams compete in events like the team pursuit and team sprint.

The Netherlands, dominant in speed skating, has continued its success in this championship. It provides a different dynamic compared to individual events, showcasing powerful teams rather than just individual talent.

#9 World Junior Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 1974
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The World Junior Speed Skating Championships, aimed at identifying young talent, serve as a launchpad for future stars of the sport. The event features individual races, team pursuits, and allround classifications.

Top skating countries like the Netherlands, South Korea, and Japan have produced many champions, with skaters like Sven Kramer and Ireen WΓΌst passing through the junior ranks.

#10 World Single Distances Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 1996
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships focus exclusively on single-distance events, crowning individual world champions of specific distances. It attracts the world’s finest skaters and often produces world records.

The championship is dominated by strong speed skating countries like the Netherlands, US, and Canada, and has seen memorable performances from stars like Shani Davis and Hege BΓΈkko.

#11 World Masters Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 1988
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual skaters

The World Masters Speed Skating Championships cater to older athletes, with age categories starting at 30. Skaters from around the globe compete in their respective age categories, showcasing their skills and passion for the sport.

The event promotes lifelong involvement in speed skating and has been dominated by skaters from traditional powerhouses like the Netherlands, Norway, and Germany.

#12 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 1976
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The World Short Track Speed Skating Championships focus on races held on a shorter, 111.12-meter track with tighter turns.

This high-intensity event showcases some of the finest athletes in the sport, competing in individual and relay events. Skaters from South Korea, China, and Canada have been historically dominant in short track, with legends including Victor An and Arianna Fontana.

#13 European Short Track Speed Skating Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across Europe
  • πŸ“… Established: 1997
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The European Short Track Speed Skating Championships bring together skaters from European nations in a compact and highly competitive event.

Nederland, Italy and Hungary have been strong in this competition, with top skaters like Sjinkie Knegt and Arianna Fontana inspiring future generations. This championship highlights the growth and talent of European short track speed skating.

#14 North American Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: United States and Canada
  • πŸ“… Established: 2012
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The North American Speed Skating Championships aim to promote the sport’s growth and encourage friendly competition between the US and Canadian speed skating communities.

A combination of long track and short track events, this relatively new event provides increased exposure for local talent while fostering friendship and collaboration between the two neighboring nations.

#15 Asian Speed Skating Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across Asia
  • πŸ“… Established: 1999
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The Asian Speed Skating Championships, organized by the Asian Skating Union, brings together skaters from Asian nations to compete in both long track and short track events.

Historically, countries like South Korea, Japan, and China have been dominant forces in the championship. This competition provides a platform for talented skaters from Asia, contributing to the rise of speed skating in the region.

#16 Oceanic Speed Skating Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across the Oceanic region
  • πŸ“… Established: Unknown
  • πŸ”„ Held: Biennially
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The Oceanic Speed Skating Championships unite skaters from Oceanic countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, in a regional competition.

While the sport is not as prominent in this region, the event creates opportunities for growth and exposure. The championship’s focus on developing local talent has produced notable skaters such as Daniel Greig and Shane Dobbin.

#17 Asian Short Track Speed Skating Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across Asia
  • πŸ“… Established: 1994
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The Asian Short Track Speed Skating Championships specifically cater to short track events in the Asian speed skating community.

South Korea, China, and Japan have showcased exceptional talent and earned multiple titles in this championship. The event encourages the development of short track discipline and serves as a platform for local talents to compete at higher levels.

#18 Four Continents Speed Skating Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 2020
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

Newly established, the Four Continents Speed Skating Championships aims to expand the sport’s reach by featuring skaters from Africa, Americas, Asia, and Oceania.

As an alternative to the European Championships, this event offers an opportunity for non-European skaters to compete and showcase their skills on a global stage, contributing to the growth of speed skating in their respective regions.

#19 Continental Short Track Speed Skating Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies by continent
  • πŸ“… Established: Unknown
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: National teams

The Continental Short Track Speed Skating Championships are organized for each continent, fostering the sport’s growth and global popularity.

Competing skaters represent their nations in various short track events, which often serve as a stepping stone to international championships. Countries like the United States, Canada, South Korea, and China have historically performed well in their respective continental championships.

#20 Master’s International Speed Skating Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 2000
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual skaters

The Master’s International Speed Skating Championships bring together experienced skaters aged 30 and older from around the world.

Competing in their respective age categories, these skaters demonstrate their passion for the sport and the spirit of lifelong participation. The event promotes continued growth and awareness of speed skating, showcasing the sport’s diverse and enduring appeal.

FAQ

What is the most important speed skating tournament?

The World Championships and the Olympic Games are the paramount tournaments in speed skating because of their global prestige and high-level competition.

What is the oldest speed skating tournament?

The World Speed Skating Championships and the World Allround Speed Skating Championships, both established in 1893, are the earliest recognized tournaments in speed skating.

What is the hardest speed skating tournament to win?

The Olympic Games and the World Championships are considered the most difficult speed skating tournaments due to the presence of global elite athletes and the high stakes involved.

I'm a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. I run stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton, took part in the German Mini Golf Championships, started learning 'real' Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments