Backstretch: The straight section of the track in which skaters change lanes every lap to even out the distance traveled. Skaters must stay in their lanes and cannot cross lane markers except along the backstretch of each lap.
Blocks: Barriers placed on the track, indicating the boundaries within which skaters must stay. Competitors have to skate outside the blocks during the entire race, but their finger can skim the ice's surface inside the blocks.
Burn Out: A common short track strategy in which one athlete takes the lead quickly and sets a fast pace to tire the other skaters.
Clap Skate: Long track skate with a spring-loaded front hinge, allowing skaters to raise their heel off the blade. Named for the sound the blade makes as it reconnects with the metal base, the clap skates contribute to five world records and 11 Olympic records at the 1998 Nagano Games.
Charging the Block: A short track maneuver in which a skater passes on the inside of the congested area just as the athletes make a turn. Experienced skaters do not let anyone sneak by on the inside and force the challenger to back off or turn wide.
Cornering Technique: A maneuver in which skaters swing one arm diagonally to sustain balance and rhythm while either swinging the other arm to obtain maximum speed or holding it behind the back to conserve energy. Athletes use the cornering technique to promote high speed and control while turning corners.
Racing Suit: Basic speed skating clothing designed to reduce wind resistance. Racing suits, which cover most of the body, include a hood worn over the head for minimum air drag and maximum speed.
Start: A maneuver in which athletes push off the back skate from a standing position and thrust their legs forward using fast, choppy steps.
Straight-away: A basic maneuver in which skaters get in a crouch position and hold one or both hands tightly behind their back to reduce air resistance and increase aerodynamics. Competitors may swing an arm back and forth to achieve even greater momentum.
Traditional Skate: Short track skate made of graphite and Kevlar with an ankle-high boot molded to the skater's foot. The skates are reinforced in the ankles to counteract the centrifugal force of the sharp turns. The blades are offset to provide greater lean. The blade on the left boot is set on the outside of the boot, and the blade on the right boot is set on the inside of the boot.