Speedskating is one of the oldest sports in the Winter Olympics and has been a part of the Games since their inception at the inaugural event in 1924.
In long-track speedskating, two rivals square off on a two-lane, 400-meter track. Though they are racing against each other, they are really competing against the clock. The skaters with the fastest times will move on to the medal rounds.
Speedskating is among the more popular Winter Olympic events because it is a fast-paced race against the clock. The speed, agility and endurance required to make it to the podium epitomize what it is to be an Olympian.