It wasn't entirely luck. As I remember, the skater (Steven Bradbury) knew he wasn't as fast as the others. But he also knew that crashes were common. So his strategy was to stay out of trouble, and hope for a crash that would give him a medal. But he wasn't expecting everyone else to go out!
I have six nieces/nephews who all compete in short-track speed skating - ages 19 through 8. I've seen a lot of races.
The races are pretty short, so you don't have a lot of time. It's hard to make a move. you're VERY close to everyone else, who are all trying to get/stay ahead of you. You can see they are all always touching each other.
Quite frankly, I'm surprised there aren't MORE wipe-outs.
My youngest niece recently won a match where she fell and was in last place, got up and kept skating to finish the race. I think there was a crash, and someone else fouled and got DQ'd, so even though she had a terrible time, she crossed first and won.
Ulf Dittmer wrote: And a frantic hustle by #2 and #3 to get a leg over the finishing line.
I'm not sure about the rules when you are down on the ice, but if you are upright (i.e. on your skates), it is illegal to kick your foot forward and lift your blade off the ice. You can slide one foot forward, but the blade must remain (at least partly?) on the ice.
fred rosenberger wrote:I have six nieces/nephews who all compete in short-track speed skating - ages 19 through 8.
Your brother-in-law must be Benjamin Button! ;)
One of the guys who went down was Apolo Ohno, right? It must be a frustrating sport. If he had just slid a few more feet, he would have got the gold. He should have padded his suit with rubber sides to get a bit more carom action going.