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Speed Skating (Grade 2)

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Speed Skating

Have you been ice skating? For lots of people, ice skating is fun. It can also be hard. The faster you go, the harder it is to control how you move. Most people try to keep their speed low. This helps them avoid tripping and falling. For some ice skaters, however, going fast is the goal. They are called speed skaters.

Speed skaters are like track stars. However, instead of running around a track, they use an ice rink. Instead of running shoes, they wear skates.

Speed skating is an Olympic sport. There are two different types of speed skating: short track and long track. The difference between the two is simple. Short track uses a shorter track. Long track uses a longer track. In the short track, skaters race on a smaller oval. They skate between 500 meters and 1500 meters. In the long track competitions, skaters skate on a bigger oval. They skate 500 meters, 1500 meters, 3000 meters, 5000 meters and 10000 meters.

When speed skaters skate, they move very fast. The fastest speed skater can skate at a speed of around 36 miles per hour. At that speed, every movement is critical. Speed skaters must be careful to move their legs correctly. They must keep their bodies balanced at all times. The ice on a speed skating track must also be smooth. When they are going really fast, it is harder for skaters to notice and avoid chips in the ice. If they hit one going 36 miles per hour, they could really get hurt.

Of course, all speed skaters fall down every now and then, especially when they first start learning to speed skate. Practicing builds up their leg and stomach muscles. They must learn how to keep their bodies positioned low and how to stay in that position if they want to become good speed skaters.
How is short track speed skating different from long track speed skating?
  1. The skaters are female instead of male
  2. The skaters skate a shorter length of track
  3. The skaters are shorter than in long track
  4. The skaters spend less time practicing
Why is smooth ice important for speed skaters?
  1. Smooth ice helps them skate faster.
  2. Smooth ice makes their skates move better.
  3. Smooth ice keeps them from tripping.
  4. Smooth ice is easier on their muscles.
What muscles does the author say are most important for speed skating?
  1. leg muscles
  2. arm muscles
  3. stomach muscles
  4. both a and c
How do speed skaters position themselves when they skate?
  1. They skate lower to the ground.
  2. They stand straight up.
  3. They hold their arms in front of them.
  4. They look like they are flying.
What does the word CRITICAL most likely mean as it is used in the passage?
  1. very ill
  2. a negative review
  3. not in agreement
  4. extremely important

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