We are just over halfway through the Vancouver Winter Olympics. If watching the events on TV makes you want to try out these sports, there are ways to simulate the feeling without moving to a northern country.
To get a feel of the muscles involved in speed skating, you'll need to work those thighs. Ultra Slide is a mat you can set up in your living room and exercise while watching the real thing on TV. It gives you an area 7 to 10 feet wide to slide those feet side-to-side. You'll work muscles you didn't even know you had, without having to negotiate curves and corners or worry about crashing into other skaters. Then imagine Olympic athletes doing this for hours every day for years and years, with the added risk of crashing.