Lausanne, Switzerland

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For Dutch Speed Skater Thomas Krol, the days and weeks in the ISU Speed Skating bubble have flown by. Krol skated to ISU European Speed Skating Sprint gold in the first week, then picked up World Cup medals to finish off with the ISU World Speed Skating title on the 1500m. Krol, who aims to become a pilot in later life, also spent his time working on his future career. "I brought my computer with my flight simulator gear, so I can practice a bit," he said.

The Dutchman enjoyed a bit of multitasking in the bubble, combining skating and flying.

One day, he 'flew' from Amsterdam to Madrid during his free time in his hotel room in Wolvega. "It's been nice to take my mind off skating for a bit," Krol said.

"The bubble is really good for your focus because you're just busy with skating, relaxing and, in my case, flying. I have my teammates around. We make a lot of fun. Actually, it's much better here than being alone at home" he joked.

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Thomas Krol (NED) at the ISU World Speed Skating Championships 2021©International Skating Union (ISU)

Before the bubble event started, Krol said he wanted to pick up as much silverware as he possibly could. He didn't expect to come out on top of the ISU European Speed Skating Sprint Championships, however.

“I had narrowly qualified for the event and I never thought it would even be possible to take the gold. I am super happy about it.”

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Thomas Krol (NED) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating 2021©International Skating Union (ISU)

Picking up the ISU European Speed Skating Sprint gold had just been the start of his bubble success, as he also clinched medals at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating events.

A disqualification in the 1000m event at the ISU World Speed Skating Championships looked like a bad finish for his bubble experience but Krol got #UpAgain to take the World title in the 1500m. "The disqualification in the 1000m was something hard to take, but I always said: whatever happens in the 1000m, the 1500m is still there. That is my best distance anyway."

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