With the roots of speed skating dating back to the 1951 World University Championship Cup, the sport has had a storied history within the university ranks. An optional sport at the Winter Universiade – and one of a handful of winter sports on the World University Championships sports programme as well – Speed Skating always brings a special atmosphere to the event to the university sports programme.
FISU Technical Committee Chair
The History of Speed Skating in FISU
The first international university sport competition of long track speed skating dates back to the 1951 World University Championship Cup in Poiana, Romania. The gold medallist of the event, Evgeni GRISHIN (USSR), became an Olympic champion in the 500m and 1500m events in 1956 and 1960. The sport appeared on the 10th World Winter University Games in 1953 in Vienna-Semmering, Austria, where the athletes of the USSR dominated on all distances.
Only the 2nd place in the men’s 500m event was achieved by DOUBEK from Czechoslovakia. Long Track Speed Skating was included, initially only for men, in the programme of the Winter Universiade for the first time at the 5th edition in 1968 in Innsbruck, Austria. Since 1970 the competition has been open to both men and women. Long Track Speed Skating is an optional sport of the WU sports programme.