Katrin Manoilova is one of just two Bulgarian Short Track Speed Skaters to have won any sort of Olympic medal but, when asked to explain the status of the sport in her homeland, she is adamant only one of them really registers.
With the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games getting closer, Dutch Short Track Speed Skater Sjinkie Knegt still seeks daily improvement after coming back from two horrific injuries. “I am happy I came this far, but I still hope to improve and get better in the future,” Knegt said.
They often get super nervous when they watch each other’s races, sometimes even a bit frustrated if things don’t go as planned. But most importantly, siblings Hanne and Stijn Desmet (BEL) enjoy living the Short Track Speed Skating life together. “It’s nice to always have someone around you can talk to and be close with,” they said.
“I felt like a little kid,” Ryan Pivirotto (USA) said after one of his training sessions at the Dordrecht 2021 ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships. “It’s exciting to race again, to see everyone,” he added. But for Pivirotto that was not the only thing. Coming back to the world stage had been an uphill battle the US Short Track Speed Skater, who struggled with depression after not having been selected to compete at the 2018 Olympics.
“It’s the lactate in the legs that I feel,” Akash Aradhya (IND) said when he stepped off the ice just after his training session at the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht (NED). “It’s the hardest ever, but it’s also why I love the sport so much,” he added with a smile.
When Short Track Speed Skater Sofia Prosvirnova (RUS) was asked who helped her most during the past year, the answer followed quickly. It’s her boyfriend and Speed Skater Viktor Thorup (DEN). “He helped me a lot and motivated me through these challenging times,” Prosvirnova said.
“I’ve moved myself out of my comfort zone,” says Liam O’Brien (IRL). The 21-year-old left his home country Australia and moved to South Korea three years ago to pursue his Olympic dream. “It’s been a whole change and a different life now, but I love it.”
A knee injury kept Short Track Speed Skater Julie Letai (USA) side-lined until mid-October 2020, but Letai bounced back to compete in the Ladies’ Relay at the 2021 ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
In 2020, Julian Macaraeg became the first Filipino Short Track Speed Skater to compete at a Winter Youth Olympic Games. In Lausanne, he made his first steps towards his ultimate goal: competing at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Steven Dubois knows that as an elite sportsman he has had it better than most during the COVID-19 pandemic but that has not stopped the past 12 months posing huge challenges.
After having caught the COVID-19 virus twice, Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN) didn’t know what to expect during the 2020/21 season. Taking home one gold [1000m] and two silver medals [Overall and relay] from the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht showed an exceptional recovery for Shaolin, who tested positive for the coronavirus back in September and November 2020.
Suzanne Schulting has taken her ice skating from the frozen Dutch canals to the absolute top of the world, making the Short Track Speed Skating circuit her home away from home.
An exciting weekend filled with action brought the ISU Short Track Speed Skating season to an end with the world's best competing in Dordrecht (NED). An event to remember and what better way to do that than through moments captured on picture? Here is a selection of some of the best pictures.
With the 2021 ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships getting underway on March 5 in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, let’s take a look at the highlights of the last four editions…
Bringing his artistic skills on to the ice in more ways than one, Itzhak de Laat hopes to become the Netherlands’ next big Short Track Speed Skating name, wearing his self-designed helmets.