It's hard to miss all the commotion that is the Olympic Winter Games. You may have noticed the Dutch are doing pretty good the edition in PyeongChang. Our small county and it's athletes are dominating the skating rink. But what's so special about ice skating? We collected a few words that will help you glide through all the conversations about ice skating. So tighten those skates!
The Dutch have been masters on the ice for a while now. Our athletes are especially good in skating very fast. And it's both the men and the women that are pretty good at it. For example Sven Kramer, who just won his third gold medal on the 5000 meters. Or Ireen Wust who is Queen of the 1500 meters. Especially the longer distances are popular, which is called langebaanschaatsen. But also the shorter distances have become more popular of the past few years. We even managed to score two medailles on Short Track already: one for the men and one for the women.
If your talking skating you are talking about the klapschaats. It's almost unthinkable these days to compete in speed skating without wearing this Dutch invention. Instead of being attached on both sides, this skate only has one connection between the skate and the show. It allows for the skater to move more relaxed.
A lot of Dutch people do not consider it a successful winter period if it hasn't been possible to skate on natural ice. There's no better feeling than to glide though nature on your skates on a crisp and sunny winter's day. Unfortunately winters have become less severe and it's rare for small waters to freeze over these days. But who knows, there might still be a chance this year...
When you hear the words natural ice, the word Elfstedentocht can't be far. This tour of all tours is 200 kilometers long and leads you past eleven Frisian towns. Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland, is the start and end point of the race. The first edition of the tour was held in 1906 and the most recent edition was in 1997. It hasn't been cold enough since then for the waters to freeze over.
Have fun on the ice!