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Professionalism

Rules to play Speed Skating

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Professionalism

After the 1972 season, European long track skaters founded a professional league, International Speedskating League, which included Ard Schenk, three time Olympic gold medallist in 1972, as well as five Norwegians, four other Dutchmen, three Swedes, and a few other skaters. Jonny Nilsson, 1963 world champion and Olympic gold medallist, was the driving force behind the league, which folded in 1974 for economic reasons, and the ISU also excluded tracks hosting professional races from future international championships. The ISU later organised its own World Cup circuit with monetary prizes, and full time professional teams developed in the Netherlands during the 1990s, which led them to a dominance on the mens side only challenged by Japanese 500 m racers and American inline skaters who changed to long tracks to win Olympic gold.


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