Dutch ice skating madness

Winter is here and that means that the professional ice skating season has started. The Dutch have competed at the international ice skating level at a high level for a long time. Therefore, the Dutch are considered one of the big players within this professional sport. These students tell us what they think about ice skating and the Dutch ice skating madness.

Niels Albrecht (22), IBA student (from Germany)

“I really like ice skating. When I was young we used to go on a frozen lake to skate in the weekends. Nowadays I go more to the ice ring in the city center. I definitely see the Netherlands as an ice skating country.  Last winter it seemed like everyone here has skates and is enthusiastic about skating. Especially when the Kralingse Plas was frozen; everyone was on the ice. Also, I think that the Dutch are one of the top, if not the leading, nations in ice skating. And the Netherlands obviously have the perfect conditions for bringing up so many strong skaters, because the long and straight waterways make it perfect to train in the winter and to explore the country. In Germany, in the winter ice skating is also definitely one of the major sports covered in the news. We too have athletes that compete on the highest level and the biggest opponent is, who else, the Dutch skaters.” NdB

Minkyung Kim (23), exchange student (from South Korea)

“I like ice skating. Actually I have been ice skating since I was a kid. It is a fun activity which everybody can enjoy during winter. Especially sliding through ice and speeding up on the ice is so much fun! To be honest, I knew The Netherlands is very cold during the winter but I have hardly known it is such an ice skating country. When I think of the Netherlands, I think much more about tulips or windmills than ice skating. For me, it is quite an interesting idea that people compete with ice skating. It is considered more of a fun activity in my country. It is sometimes considered an activity which is essential for dating during winter.  So, ice skating in South- Korea is more a romantic activity in which lovers lead each another while holding their hands and trying not to fall with a bum on the ice. But now I definitely want to see ice skating competitions while I am staying here and participate in the Dutch ice skating madness!”

Isabella Benestad (20), IBCoM student (from Norway)

“I love ice skating, especially because it is a nice way to spend your days outside in the cold winter days. Coming from Norway I cannot remember one single time I went ice skating without having a smile on my face the whole day. I perceive The Netherlands very much as an ice skating country and I think it has a lot to do with all the canals located around the cities and towns. In Norway cross country skiing is the optimal choice for most people, though ice skating is also quite popular. I actually think the Dutch are born with skates on their feet, as you would say Norwegians are born with skis on their feet. So, I think the Dutch in general are crazy about ice-skating, and ice skating here can be such a beautiful experience. You can perceive the towns and cities from a different aspect, by skating on the canals through the cities and towns instead of biking and seeing the canals; but reversed.”