Olympics: Profile: Shane Dobbin (speed skater)

New Zealand team profiles

Shane Dobbin (30)
Speed skater

Lives: Echten, the Netherlands, and Palmerston North.

Event: Speed skating has a long international history stretching back to the International Skating Union, which was founded in 1892.

The sport was introduced to the Olympic programme in 1924 and artificial tracks were introduced in 1960.

The sport is particularly popular in Norway and the Netherlands.

Racers use a 400m track, while short-track racers use a 111m track, about the size of an ice hockey rink.

Background: Dobbin is a four-time world champion inline skater who switched to ice two years ago.

He has been skating since 1994 and has an interest in developing inline skate technology.

He qualified for the Olympics in the 5km event at the World Cup in Salt Lake City in December, setting a new national record and finishing 11th.

He has since qualified for the world all-round championships in March.

Chances: Dobbin is new to this sport but a realistic medal prospect.

He is inspired by a desire to succeed and is looking forward to his first Olympic Games.

He has been finishing his recent races in the United States in personal best times and breaking national records.

Race day: February 13, Vancouver.

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