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Olympic Speed Skating



Olympic Speed Skating
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.74

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    all-iron, all-steel, world-record, achievement, definitely, oval-shaped, baton, meters, lighter, skaters, outer, races, indoor, oval, onto, traveled
     content words:    Great Britain, Skating Club, Fens Canals, North America, Three British Army, Lawrence River, Quebec City, Amateur Skating Association, International Skating Union, Winter Olympics


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Olympic Speed Skating
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     Who knew skating on animal bones across ice would become an Olympic sport? That is how ice-skating began. One thousand years ago, people in Scandinavia and the Netherlands used skates for travel. They traveled across frozen lakes and rivers. They strapped animal bones onto their shoes. Now people had a quick way to glide across ice.
 
2     During the 1600s, people used ice skates to travel between villages. Even though ice skating began in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, the first iron blade was not made there. In 1592, a man from Scotland made the first all-iron blades. Speed skating was now becoming popular. It started to spread across Great Britain. The Skating Club of Edinburgh (Scotland) formed in 1642. The first organized speed skating race was held in England. The race took place in 1763 on the Fens Canals in eastern England. This race covered a distance of 24 kilometers.
 
3     Speed skating came to North America in 1850. Historians believe that Scandinavian immigrants brought the sport when they came to North America. The skates had longer and sharper all-steel blades. These blades were also lighter. Canada had its first recorded ice-skating race in 1854. Three British Army officers raced on the St. Lawrence River from Montréal to Quebec City. Now speed skating was a regular winter sport in Canada. In 1887, The Amateur Skating Association of Canada was started. The International Skating Union (ISU) started in the Netherlands in 1892. Canada's association joined the ISU in 1894.

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