Short Track Speed Skating appeared in Russia after our country participated in the World Universiade 1985 in Belluno (Italy). Earlier in 1982, the Ice Skating Federation was closed in Italy. Italian skaters lost their right to participate in ice skating competitions on behalf of their nation, so a decision was made to include a new event in the Universiade programme - Short Track Speed Skating. The USSR received an invitation to build up a team and take part in the competitions. Back in the day people in the Soviet Union had no idea of what this sport was about, so they picked skaters from among students who skated as sprinters. The gear was purchased in Canada.
The Winter Universiade 1985 didn't bring any medals to our national team. However, later in the Universiade Sofia 1989 (Bulgaria) the Russian skater Marina Pylaeva won the silver medal in the 1500m Short Track Speed Skating race. In 1997, the Universiade in Muju (South Korea) brought the Russian skaters two bronze medals, one in the women's 1500m race thanks to the great effort of Elena Tikhanina and the other one in the women's 3000m relay. In 2009, Ruslan Zakharov won the bronze medal in the 1000m race in Harbin (China). The Winter Universiade 2015 that was held in Slovakia and Spain brought the Russian Short Track Team (Dmitry Myasnikov, Kirill Shashin, Eduard Strelkov and Timur Zakharov) the silver medals in the men's 5000m relay.
In Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan) the Russian Short Track Team of Artyom Denisov, Aleksander Koval, Andrey Mikhasyov, Kirill Shashin and Timur Zakharov won another set of siver medals in the men's 5000m relay race.
Totally, the Winter Universiades brought our compatriots three silver and three bronze medals.
The first USSR championship was held in 1988. Most members of the first national Short Track Team of Russia were raised by the Leningrad Short Track Speed Skating School. The first Russian (USSR) medals in Short Track Speed Skating were won in 1991 during the World Championship in Sydney (Australia) when the Soviet skaters Natalya Isakova, Yulia Allagulova, Yulia Vlasova and Marina Pylayeva won the silver medals in the 3000m relay race.
Two Short Track Speed Skating championships are held in Russia annually, an all-round championship and a single distances championship (Olympic disciplines).
It is worth mentioning the triumphant performance of the Russian Short Track Team in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi when the Team of Viktor An, Semyon Yelistratov, Viktor Grigoryev and Roman Zakharov won the gold medals in the 5000m relay, Viktor An became the gold medallist in 1000m and 500m races, as well as the bronze one in the 1500m race becoming the most awarded skater in this discipline. Viktor Grigoryev won the silver medal in the 1000m race. Now Russian athletes hold leading positions in European and World championships.
The previous Olympic Games brought Semyon Yelistratov the bronze medal in the 1500m Short Track Speed Skating race.