That year Bradbury took part in two competitions, the 1500 metres and the 1000 metres. He had already decided that those would have been his last Olympics and had been already thinking about retiring; behind him there were years and years of hard work and training, as well as a very serious accident in Lillehammer '94, when the blade of a skate cut an artery and almost bled him to death. He was just 21 years old.
Instead, after the unfortunate 1500 meters where he got out in the second round, on the 1000 Bradbury skated towards a meeting with destiny. He passed the quarterfinals, coming second thanks to the disqualification of the French Marc Gagnon. Bradbury had then to challenge champions who have now entered the history of short track, like Apolo Anton Ohno - American - and Korean Ahn Hyun-soo.
He arrived at the semifinals: and there destiny began to want to have fun, or perhaps to return to Bradbury what he had taken away.
The final began. Bradbury? About 15 metres behind the pack. He was getting progressively farther and farther, the clock was ticking and he got almost lapped by the leading quartet. Those 1000 meters of the short track must be skated fast, a sequence of swift curves on an oval of ice. A slippery oval, to be precise. Indeed, right at the last curve the Chinese Li Jiajun fell. Not just him: in the fall, he also accidentally dragged Apolo Anton Ohno, Mathieu Turcotte and Ahn Hyun-soo.
A comic carambola: an Bradbury incredulous surpassed them all and crossed the finish line first. Miracle accomplished and first ever gold medal at the Winter Olympics for Australia.
To pull a Bradbury: An improbable victory attained by default; achievement only made possible by the clumsiness/misfortune of others. Urban Dictionary
Beyond the miracle: short track training
In the short track, the athletes challenge each other by speeding over an ice lap just over 110 meters long, easily reaching 50 kilometres per hour and, as we have clearly seen in the case of Steven Bradbury, without any protection between one athlete and another. Because of its spectacularization - and probably waiting to see a new Bradbury styled miracle, short track skating is among the most followed and appreciated ice sports by the public.
The training, carried out both on and off track, is therefore focused on the explosiveness of the lower musculature of the athlete, which must be both extremely responsive and able to reach and sustain very high speeds in a corridor of ice a few meters wide.
Short-track skaters take years to achieve this physical form. Some of the most common exercises include various running techniques to improve their coordination, such as kicked and lateral running, skip, alternated steps and the classic sprint.
Create your ideal circuit with Skillrun
All these exercises can be combined into continuous training sessions, which allow the seamless transition from one exercise mode to another.
For those who want to combine total body muscle training with Skillrun - as in the case of short track skaters - we recommend trying Skillrun Bootcamp. This is a high intensity interval training class in which Skillrun features are combined with functional training, in a fully monitored environment thanks to TEAM BEATS technology, which allows you to track your individual performance (expressed in beats per minute, calories and Moves) in real time and over time.