Speed Skating is about competition, but underneath the surface of many rivalries there’s a lot of mutual respect and friendship. To celebrate the UN’s International Day of Friendship, we looked into some great Speed Skating moments and the value of sports and friendship. The International Day of Friendship aims to confront the crises and challenges of the world (poverty, violence, human rights abuses, pandemics) that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony. Friendship is the simplest way to overcome this, says the UN: by accumulating bonds, we can contribute to the shifts needed to achieve lasting stability, and a better, more united world.
Figure Skating is an individual sport, but at the same time, skaters usually start travelling to international competitions at a young age and make friends all over the world. Friendship is always important, but especially in challenging times like now with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting everybody’s life. Skaters are relying on their friends from all over the world to overcome these challenges together.
July 30th is the International Day of Friendship – and the world of Short Track Speed Skating is home to one of the friendliest groups of athletes in sport. Even though all our competitors always want to beat each other on the ice, on the sidelines there is a great sense of unity and fellowship.
Have a look back at the best pictures of the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2020. Nothing like capturing a moment.
As the second ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating weekend of the 2019/20 season concluded in Montreal, a little-known young skater from the Philippines stayed behind to train with the host nation’s celebrated team, including three-time Olympic champion Charles Hamelin. Julian Macaraeg became, in January, the first athlete from his nation to qualify for the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games following a strong performance at the ISU Junior World Short Track Speed Skating Championships.
How do Speed Skaters train while the world is locked down due to the Covid-19 pandemic? Nothing compares to skating on real ice, but one of the most common methods of dry-land training is the use of a sliding board, a device invented by five-time Olympic Champion Eric Heiden. The exercise is perfect to keep the Speed Skating muscles fit in your own back-yard or even your own bedroom.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything – and summer training for Short Track Speed Skating is no exception. Getting on the ice for some laps is out. Going to gyms and national training centers has stopped. And there’s been no chance of cycling in groups. Our athletes, however, have improvised and overcome. They know that an effective summer can lead to a glorious winter – so they’ve been staying active in any way they can, and sharing the results on Instagram.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to try new and different things. Skaters trained online and at home, choreographers were building programs using video conference techniques. 2015 ISU World Figure Skating Champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) and her choreographer Juri Smekalov, a dancer and choreographer from the world famous Mariinski Theater in St. Petersburg, took it a step further and built a new program live on Instagram in several sessions for everyone to watch, follow and participate.
Australia’s Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya, 20, who tragically died on July 17, 2020, was a talented Pair Skater who, together with her partner Harley Windsor, wrote Figure Skating history for her adopted country.
Since the last ISU Council meeting on July 6, the ISU has been informed of increased travel and entry restrictions which would seriously complicate the travel of Junior Skaters with the consequence that some ISU Members simply cannot or do not feel comfortable to send Junior teams to the remaining ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating countries.
It is with profound sadness that the ISU learned of the sudden and unexpected passing of pair skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya (AUS).
Lara van Ruijven, Short Track Speed Skater from the Netherlands, who tragically passed away last week aged 27, was one of her country’s brightest sporting talents.
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN/Most Valuable Skater), Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA/Most Entertaining Program), Alena Kostornaia (RUS/Best Newcomer) and Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA/Best Costume) are the winning skaters of the inaugural ISU Skating Awards for the 2019/20 season. The Best Coach Award went to Eteri Tutberidze (RUS) while Shae-Lynn Bourne (CAN) was crowned best choreographer. Four-time World Champion and Canadian skating legend Kurt Browning received the Lifetime Achievement Award.