Vincent de Haître completed the first part of his extraordinary 180-day quest this week. The Canadian star successfully competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in track cycling – and will now head into training as a Speed Skater, aiming to appear at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games in just seven months’ time.
For Italy's Francesca Lollobrigida being in the Bubble in Heerenveen meant far more than just being able to compete again. "We came here to prove that even Italy can be here after such a difficult time," she said. "We were finally able to skate in the same conditions as all the others." You can watch her journey in the Bubble in This is #UpAgain A Speed Skating documentary.
Johnny Weir has just about done it all. He is one of the USA’s most celebrated male Figure Skaters of all time, an ISU World Figure Skating Championships medal winner, a highly regarded sports commentator and a TV star in his own right. But spend five minutes with him and you soon realise that one thing means more to him than anything else.
Olympians are very special people but even among such company Vincent De Haitre stands out. Not only is the Canadian about to join that exclusive group comprising those who have competed in both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games, but once he has finished with track cycling at Tokyo 2020 he will then drop his bicycle, pull his speed skates back on and attempt to qualify for Beijing 2022.
A number of Speed Skaters compete in summer sports and even compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. French Figure Skater Kevin Aymoz (FRA) also competed in a summer sport called Baton Twirling and became rather good at it. He is also the latest guest on The Ice Skating Podcast.
The International Skating Union (ISU) has published the International Speed Skating & Short Track Speed Skating Competitions for the season 2021/22.
Figure skating is an individual sport while rivalry exists, the skating world is in fact a closely-knit community where most people know and support each other. True friendship even among direct competitors is not a rare thing to see.
In Synchronized Skating teams consist in general of 16 Skaters plus the substitutes that form a unit and team spirit is essential for success as Aida Aleskerova, captain of Team Berlin 1 (GER) makes clear. “Synchronized Skating is the friendliest discipline within skating because you are not only responsible for yourself, but also for the other 15 athletes,” she said. “Friendship, trust and respect are basic requirements for a good team.”
In Speed Skating it’s all about small margins. One hundredth of second can make the difference between silver and gold. The friendship between Thomas Krol (NED) and Kai Verbij (NED) dates back to the time the two skated in the junior ranks.
When you aren’t feeling your best, you discover who your true friends are. For skater Erika Lindgren, the Short Track world showed her incredible warmth and support during her struggles with mental health issues.
The end of one chapter is the beginning of a new one. This is certainly true for U.S. Pair Skaters Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, who started their career as a team a little over a year ago after their long-time partners retired.
If Canadian Speed Skater Ivanie Blondin had to describe her time in the Heerenveen bubble, it would probably all come down to just a few words. Blondin went from having serious doubts to feeling proud about her accomplishments.
Italy’s Matteo Rizzo has changed his life completely and he is not stopping at this. For the upcoming Olympic season, the 2019 ISU European bronze medalist is exploring a new style for his programs.
Just after the 2020 ISU World Speed Skating Championships, Joey Mantia (USA) sat down and noted his goals for the 2020/21 season. One of those goals was winning the 2021 World title in the Men's Mass Start. Mantia did just that at the 2021 ISU Speed Skating bubble in Heerenveen, but the road to winning the world title was not easy for the 35-year-old and you can watch his journey in This is #UpAgain A Speed Skating documentary.
Switzerland is a winter sports superpower, its all-conquering Alpine skiers in particular having a rich history in Olympic Winter Games. The nation has had success in Figure Skating and Speed Skating, but is yet to win a medal in Short Track. How can this be in a land packed with ice rinks? Thibault Metraux explains.