Celebrating last-place finishes at the Olympics. Because they're there, and you're not.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Qualifying Rules: Speed Skating

Speed skating is another winter sport with hard quotas: no more than 170 athletes -- 90 men, 80 women -- can attend the Olympics in this sport. Last year the ISU set out minimum qualifying times in each event -- you had to better that time in order to attend. If, however, too many skaters meet that standard, that qualifying time would be lowered to reduce the number of athletes who qualify.

Actually, there are two qualifying times, level A and level B. National Olympic committees can send a maximum of 20 athletes -- 10 men, 10 women. But if a committee wants to register more than one skater in a given distance, all must meet the tougher level A qualifying time. Otherwise, a single athlete may be entered in that distance if he or she meets the level B standard.

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