For the third time ever and first since 2007, the World Single Distances Speedskating Championships are returning to the Utah Olympic Oval.
The International Skating Union announced on Friday that US Speedskating has been provisionally awarded the 2020 championships, which feature the top long track skaters in the world competing in the 500-, 1,000-, 1,500-, 3,000-, 5,000- and 10,000-meter, plus the team pursuit and mass start events. The competition will be held Feb. 13-16, 2020.
“We are very honored to be hosting the 2020 world championships in Salt Lake City,” said Mike Plant, president of US Speedskating. “We are committed and dedicated to producing a fantastic championship that the ISU and the skaters will be proud of, and will appreciate and enjoy.”
The Utah Olympic Oval, in Kearns, Utah, was built for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and early on earned a reputation as the fastest ice on earth. Ten Olympic and nine world records were set there in 2002. The Oval also hosted the 2001 World Single Distances Championships as the first event ever at the facility.
The United States won three gold medals and one bronze medal at the 2017 championships, held at the Gangneung Oval in South Korea, home to the 2018 Olympics. Joey Mantia won the mass start and Heather Bergsma won the 1,000- and 1,500-meter events, while finishing third in the mass start.
“It is always exciting to have the opportunity to hold a world championships on your home turf, yet alone on our home ice,” said Ted Morris, executive director of US Speedskating. “This event will allow us to showcase our sport to the rest of the United States and the world, and once again show the country why Utah is the state of sport.”