Making history at the Winter Games in Fort St. John!

Making history at the Winter Games in Fort St. John!

Author: BC Games Society/Friday, February 7, 2020/Categories: Front Page, News, 2019 News, BC Winter Games, 2020 BC Winter Games, Winter Sports, Speed Skating

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For the first time in BC Winter Games history, Long Track speed skating has been included as an event in the 2020 BC Winter Games. Generally, long track speed skating is held outdoors on speed skating ovals, unfortunately, due to the unpredictability of weather these long track events have never been included in the BC Winter Games. This year, due to the City of Fort St. John’s regulation length indoor speed skating track, history is being made.

Katharine North, Chair of Speed Skating for the 2020 BC Winter Games expressed her excitement when Fort St. John was awarded to host the Games as it will provide the community with the chance to showcase the indoor long track oval at the Pomeroy Sports Center. The full length indoor long track oval is one of two indoor ovals in Canada and has been sanctioned by Speed Skate Canada for national level events over the years. Since opening in 2010, the long track oval at the Pomeroy Sports Center has hosted numerous events including the 2015 Canada Winter Games, Masters International All Round Games, and the 2019 Canada Cup #1. The oval will host the 2020 BC Winter Games long track events for the first ever inclusion of long track speed skating in the BC Winter Games. 

What’s the difference between long track and short track?

Short track speed skating events are held on hockey rinks, are often fast-paced and are akin to roller derby style racing. Whereas long track speed skating is a more classic style of speed skating, events are held on the ice oval and participants remain in their designated lanes.

As part of the long track events, the Fort St. John Recreational and Speed Skating Club will be hosting a “Long Track 101” on Thursday February 20, 2020 to help participants become comfortable with the track and the major differences between long and short track events. This is especially important given the new incorporation of this event in the BC Winter Games.

Speed skating participants in the 2020 Winter Games will compete two different long track events, the 500m Olympic Style, and long track 7-lap mass start. Short track events include the 400m and 1500m relay and point races. Special Olympic racers have their own distances. Four of Fort St. John’s very own speed skaters from the Fort St. John Recreational and Speed Skating club (the Elks) will be participating in the 2020 BC Winter Games; don’t miss out on a chance to cheer on local talent.

Visit bcwintergames.ca for the latest sport schedule of events.

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