Roller Speed Skating

10 Aug.,2022


History of

Roller Speed Skating

Roller speed skating is a fast-paced discipline, with some athletes reaching speeds of up to 50km per hour.

The Basics

Roller speed skating events are usually held on outdoor — and occasionally indoor — rinks with banked walls or on closed road circuits. A maximum of five wheels are allowed on the inline skates athletes wear, and wheels cannot exceed diameters of 110mm. For marathons only, skates can have 125mm diameter wheels. No brakes are allowed. The constant jostling for a favourable position combined with the mass start, velodrome-like walls and 200m track make for thrilling competitions often decided by photo finishes.


The first Roller Speed Skating World Championship was held in Monza, Italy, in 1937. The following year, London hosted the 1938 Track Roller Speed Skating World Championship. At the Olympic Summer Games Barcelona 1992, rink hockey, played on quad skates, was a demonstration sport. It marked the first time athletes on roller skates competed on the Olympic stage.

Combined Challenge

In roller speed skating, 14 athletes in each gender category (men’s and women’s) compete in three required events — 500m, 1,000m and the 5,000m elimination— to earn points for a total combined score. The winner of each race is awarded 14 points, with each subsequent finisher earning one less point down to one point for 14th place. The final rankings are decided by the total number of points each skater accumulates over the three events.

Olympic History

Roller speed skating first appeared on the Olympic stage as a demonstration sport at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014. After it was well received in China, it made its full Olympic debut at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, where it took place at the Paseo de la Costa from 7 to 8 October.

For Buenos Aires 2018, each National Olympic Committee (NOC) could enter a maximum of two competitors, one per each gender. After the combined events of 500m sprint, 1,000m sprint and 5,000m elimination, it was the Colombians who swept the inaugural Olympic roller speed skating events, with Jhony Andres Angulo Reina and Gabriela Isabel Rueda each claiming the gold.