Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Date Started: February 13, 2010
Date Finished: February 27, 2010
Participants: 177 (94 men and 83 women) from 24 countries
Youngest Participant: Miho Takagi (15 years, 273 days)
Oldest Participant: Tomomi Okazaki (38 years, 165 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): Martina Sáblíková and Stephanie Beckert (3 medals)
Most Medals (Country): Netherlands (7 medals)
The 2010 speed skating events were held in the city of Richmond, part of the Vancouver metropolitan area. Competitions were held in the Richmond Olympic Oval, situated along the Fraser River, not far from the Pacific Ocean. It was hence the first time ever that Olympic speed skating was contested at sea level (although the 1952 Bislett Stadium was a mere 37 m above sea level).
The program was identical to 2006, although there were a few rule changes. In the 500 m event, the overall results were now decided by 1/1000s of a second, although formally the individual race results were, strangely enough, still in 1/100s. The qualifying round for the pursuit event was dropped, and the competition moved to the end of the Games as not to interfere with preparation for individual events. Finally, pursuit teams were only allowed to include one substitute, and all team members had to be entered in at least one other Olympic race.
As in 2006, six different countries took gold medals, among them two for the Czech Republic, winning its first medals in the sport through Martina Sáblíková. She was also the most successful skater in Vancouver with three medals total, adding a bronze. Also notable was the fact that South Korea won three gold and two silver medals, where it had previously only ever won two medals. Finally, Poland won a single bronze medal in the women's team pursuit, the first speed skating prize for the nation in 50 years.