This Jaap Edenbaan was the start of a whole new chapter in speed skating. Since then, Dutch skaters no longer rely on natural ice for training and competitions, but can take action at any time. Even in past winters, natural ice was not always a given, because even then it occasionally faltered, as evidenced by our overview of the years with all-out Dutch championships. In the first half of the twentieth century, only fifteen ran, because the other thirty-five winters were too hot for an outdoor tournament. Since the opening of Jaap Edenbaan, all tournaments have been held, because it is on artificial ice.
So the Dutch sport of figure skating underwent a revolution in 1961, according to skating historian Marnix Koolhaas: “Long-track speed skating, as it is officially called 400-meter rink speed skating, was a marginal sport in the Netherlands until 1961. From Of course, when it was freezing, iron was taken out of the ice everywhere.Half of Holland was fat and made its rounds on ditches, lakes or natural ice rinks, but the number of serious speed riders in our country was small.Skiing to go to Norway for a while Two weeks to learn the art of the experienced Scandinavian cracks.”
Thanks to Jaap Edenbaan, top Dutch drivers can now train on artificial snow and no longer have to take expensive trips abroad. And young talents such as Ard Schenk, Kees Verkerk and Carry Geijssen gratefully benefited. It secured great success at the Winter Olympics, where skating has been on the program since the first edition of 1924. In that young century, the Netherlands won 42 gold medals as the most successful country in long track speed skating. All those gold medals go back after 1961 – all of them really! Schaatsland Nederland is built on the foundations of artificial ice.
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