Why is Speed Walking a Sport?

There is a strategy for race walking, just as there is for every sport. But first, it’s crucial to comprehend the game’s regulations.

According to Vox, which does an excellent job of dissecting the sport, there is one important guideline that every athlete participating in race walking must follow.

Race walking is defined as “a series of steps so taken that the walker makes touch with the ground, so that no visible (to the human eye) loss of contact occurs” in Rule 230.2 of the sport.

This means that, unlike running, when a runner’s feet are frequently off the ground, race walking requires that just one foot of the walker ever touch the ground.

Why is Speed Walking a Sport?

The precise phrase for when both of an athlete’s feet are elevated is known as “flight time,” and it is forbidden and grounds for disqualification in race walking.

However, having one foot on the ground isn’t even what causes race walkers to stutter.

Race walking: Origin, Rules and Olympic History

What began as a Victorian-era high-society activity has been a staple of the Olympic Games since 1904. the guidelines for race walking.

Race walking stands out as a sport that prioritises precision and discipline, whereas other track and field events primarily conclude in feats that require bursts of energy to achieve.

During the Victorian era (1837–1901), when noblemen used to wager on their footmen, who walked behind their employers’ horse-drawn coaches, for a winner, race walking is thought to have begun.

In the late 19th century, it spread to the United States and became known as pedestrianism.

With players covering roughly 1,000 miles in six days within crowded indoor venues, it gained popularity as a spectacle sport.

Olympic Race Walking

Race walking had its Olympic debut in 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, but it was combined with the “All-Around Championship,” which is today’s equivalent of the decathlon.

With a 3500-meter and a 10-mile race walk, it made its debut as a separate sport in the 1908 London Olympics for men.

The 10 km short-distance walk and the 50 km long-distance event were first featured at the Stockholm Summer Olympics in 1912 and the Los Angeles Summer Olympics in 1932, respectively.

The second short distance division, the 20 km, was first established at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.


The second short distance division, the 20 km, was first established at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.

At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, a women’s category was finally added in the form of a 10km race. In Sydney 2000, it was upgraded to the 20km.

Currently, only men compete in the 50km long distance category at the Olympic Games, while both men and women compete in the 20km short distance event.