He did not skate, but Thialf stadium cheered for local hero Sven Kramer (NED) one last time on Saturday. After having finished his racing career competing at his fifth Olympic Games in Beijing last month, the Dutch speed skating icon celebrated his farewell from the sport together with Ireen Wüst (NED). Before the celebrations off the ice, there was some spectacular competition on the ice. Laurent Dubreuil (CAN) managed to take 500m silver after a horror week, Kjeld Nuis (NED) made amends for missing the Olympic 1000m and Nils van der Poel (SWE) had his own farewell race in the 5000m.
“It was the most awesome experience of my skating career,” Ireen Wüst (NED) said. At age 35, having collected 13 Olympic medals (six gold, five silver, two bronze) and multiple European and World titles, the Dutch speed skating queen of a generation waved the Thialf home crowd farewell at the ISU World Cup Final in Heerenveen on Saturday. Wüst finished fourth in her last race as a professional speed skater, leaving the 1500m World Cup gold to Miho Takagi (JPN). Erin Jackson took her fifth 500m World Cup win of the season, retaining her lead in the ranking with only Sunday’s race to go in the shortest distance.
Participating in the Olympic Games is the dream of each athlete and when it comes true for the first time, it is something very special, as Italy’s Daniel Grassl can confirm. “These were my first Olympic Games and everything was new. It was also very nice to live in the Olympic village,” the 19-year-old recalled. “Obviously, there were some restrictions because of Covid, but it was very well organized. I got a lot of experience.”
After groundbreaking records, momentous victories and true sportsmanship at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, and thrilling ISU World Speed Skating Championships in Hamar (NOR) last week, the 2022 Speed Skating season comes to a close with one more highlight: the ISU World Cup Speed Skating Final in Heerenveen (NED). Skaters look forward to a full house at the Thialf Stadium after the pandemic forced to keep the stands empty last year.
Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx belongs to the best Figure Skaters in the world and is the best female Skater her country ever had. She ranked fifth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021 and continued to do very well this season. She won bronze at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Gran Premio d’Italia in Turin, becoming the first female Skater from Belgium to earn a Grand Prix medal.
Don’t miss any of the action from the season’s thrilling races from the ISU World Cup Speed Skating 2021/22, which will be streamed live to all fans on the ISU Skating YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to receive live stream notifications. Some geo-restrictions will apply on YouTube, but if you find yourself unable to watch the stream, check out one of the channels below to get access.
International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and recognize achievements of women in the Ice Skating world. In the following lines, learn about four women skaters who have been incredibly remarkable on and off the ice:
Heading into the final day in Hamar Nils van der Poel (SWE) said that 20 seconds would be very difficult to claw back in the 10,000m. After the 1500m, he had to make up 21 on Patrick Roest (NED). Somehow he pulled it off. Skating a new track record, Van der Poel dethroned three-time champion Roest to follow up two Olympic golds in Beijing with his career first World Allround title. Roest had to settle for silver and Bart Swings (BEL) took the bronze.
Many in Canada believe that Florence Brunelle might be their country’s heir to the brilliant Kim Boutin – a skater who has bagged world records, Olympic medals and World Cup titles aplenty during her Short Track career.
After being confirmed as the queen of Olympic Speed Skating with three gold medals and a bronze in Beijing, Irene Schouten (NED) added the Allround crown at the ISU World Championships in Hamar on Sunday. The 29-year-old Dutchwoman made up for what she lost in the shorter distances with unmatched performances in the endurance events to leave Miho Takagi (JPN) in second place and Antoinette de Jong (NED) in third. “I won it with my 3000m and 5000m of course,” Schouten said.
Patrick Roest (NED) came to Hamar to win his fourth consecutive World Allround Title but he is not getting things all his own way. Having bitten the dust against Nils van der Poel (SWE) in the 5000m and 10,000m at the Olympic Games in Beijing last month, the Dutchman again has a fight on his hands with his Swedish nemesis. Roest heads into the second day on top but Van der Poel is chasing in second place. After the Allround was done for the first day, Bjørn Magnussen, Henrik Fagerli Rukke and Håvard Lorentzen delighted the home crowd by winning the Team Sprint title ahead of Poland and the Netherlands.
In a classic fight between speed and stamina, Miho Takagi (JPN) struck hard in the 500m before Irene Schouten (NED) hit back with a track record in the 3000m. The pair set up an epic fight for the title and heading into the second day of the women’s Allround World Championships in Hamar, Takagi holds a 0.43-second advantage over her Dutch rival in Sunday’s 1500m. To conclude Saturday’s action the Dutch women finished ahead of Poland and Norway in the World Team Sprint.
“I think I’ve got the slowest opener of everyone who’s ever won the World Sprint Championships,” Thomas Krol (NED) laughed, with the gold medal around his neck in Hamar on Friday. The Dutchman came seventh and eighth in the 500m races but made up any lost ground in the 1000m on Thursday and Friday. Kai Verbij (NED) and Håvard Lorentzen (NOR) claimed silver and bronze respectively and they also had good 1000m races to thank. All three men paid tribute to Laurent Dubreuil (CAN), who led the standings after the first day but had to withdraw due to a positive Covid-19 test.
Jutta Leerdam (NED) claimed her first World Sprint title at the ISU World Championships in Hamar on Friday. The 23-year-old Dutchwoman beat Femke Kok (NED) by 0.37s in the final 1000m to edge out her compatriot by 0.07 points in the overall classification. Vanessa Herzog (AUT) claimed bronze, 1.08 points off the winner. It was the first time on the World Sprint Championships podium for all three women.
Two Ukrainian skaters will compete at the ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2022 in Gdansk this weekend after a dramatic escape from the Russian invasion.