It will be different in many respects, but the first international Speed Skating event of the Heerenveen Hub is bound to be spectacular. For the first time since 2005 both Sven Kramer and Ireen Wüst (NED) will not be present at the ISU European Allround Speed Skating Championships. The multiple champions leave the field wide open to eager youngsters, while Kai Verbij (NED) and Vanessa Herzog (AUT) will face tough competition in defense of their ISU European Sprint Speed Skating Championships title.
Four events in five weeks. The pre-Olympic Speed Skating season has been cut short, but the hub-concept in Heerenveen will provide the Skaters as well as fans with spectacular action. The ISU has been, and still is very cautious regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the hub in the Netherlands, a competition Bubble with different levels are set up to guarantee the safety of everyone involved. Fans are not allowed in the stadium, but the spectacle on the ice will be widely available on television and live streams.
Don’t miss any of the action from the season’s thrilling races from the Heerenveen Speed Skating Hub, which will be streamed live to all fans on the ISU Skating YouTube page. Make sure you subscribe to the channel 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 indicated here to get access.
2020 has been a very tough year as almost everybody has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in one or way or another, directly or indirectly. Athletes were unable to train and to compete and some contracted the virus. However, not everything connected to 2020 is negative and the Skaters are happy to share their #OneGoodThing – on the ice and off the ice.
As a challenging 2020 draws to a close the world’s Short Track Speed Skating stars can look back on a year that offered a chance to deviate from just training and competing – be it fixing that little technical detail, finishing a box set of movies or spending extra time with the family – to come back stronger for 2021.
“The #OneGoodThing is of course that we can still do what we love,” says Francesca Lollobrigida (ITA) with a melancholic smile. “We were lucky to skate here outside with a pretty view in Baselga di Piné. Last week we had snow, but now the weather has come around nicely.” The 2018 ISU European Mass Start Speed Skating Champion had to postpone all her ambitions professionally and privately, due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020.
He had his breakthrough year last season, crushing the 10,000m world record to take the ISU World Speed Skating title at age 22 in Salt Lake City. The future looked bright for Graeme Fish (CAN) last February, but like so many others he had to put his ambitions on hold when the international sports world came to a halt due to COVID-19.
This year has placed unprecedented stresses and strains on people’s mental health across the globe. It’s been no different for the world’s best Short Track Speed Skaters but Poland’s Kamila Stormowska feels lucky to have had the tools in place to deal with such significant challenges, as she explains here, in the first of a new series.
Tara Lipinski (USA) was only 14 years old when she struck gold at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 1997 in Lausanne (SUI). She became the youngest Figure Skater to take the World title then as she was two months younger than the legendary Sonja Henie (NOR) who won her first World title in 1927 not long before her 15th birthday.
The ISU welcomes the annulment by the General Court judgment on 16 December 2020 (Case T-93/18) of the provisions of the European Commission of 8 December 2017 requiring the ISU to amend its Eligibility Rules with respect to the CAS arbitration system. The General Court has confirmed that the CAS arbitration system is fully consistent with EU law.
Getting in shape for Short Track Speed Skating is a delicate balancing act – so achieving the right ratio of training, stretching, rehab and rest is vital, says Slovakia’s Petra Rusnakova.
The Russian Speed Skaters hope to be able to compete internationally at the ISU European Speed Skating Championships and the ISU World Cups in the Heerenveen hub in January, but their run-up to the shortcut season has been difficult due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Paweł Abratkiewicz (POL), coach of the Russian ladies, travelled a bumpy road to be able to guide his athletes on the ice.