While most people enjoy swimming and sun-bathing in August, many Speed Skaters return to the ice for summer skating. After a lot of individual dryland training during the COVID-19 lockdown in form April to June, the Dutch Jumbo-Visma travelled to Inzell for the first real action on the ice in July and last week they returned home to step on the summer ice at Thialf in Heerenveen.
“Nothing’s better than training at a familiar place, where you’ve got everything you need at hand,” ISU World Allround Speed Skating Champion Patrick Roest (NED) said. “I’m happy that we’re back on the ice, because I do like real ice-skating a lot better than inline-skating.”
Patrick Roest (NED) during Team Jumbo-Vistma Training Session 2019©Getty Images
Skating indoors while everyone’s wearing summer clothes outdoors is a bit strange, admits Roest: “The past years temperatures peaked at about 40 degrees Celsius. On days like that, Thialf is the perfect air-conditioning,” he laughs. “With temperatures like that I prefer skating on the ice to riding my bike in the heat outside.”
Roest felt confident being back on the ice. “It’s good to get back that feeling on the ice. Physically feel very well, so there’s nothing to complain”
Antoinette de Jong (NED), enjoyed getting back on the ice as well. “You may think that it was business as usual again after we’d already skated in Inzell for ten days, but it’s different. It’s been two weeks since I bended this deep at the knees, and that’s pretty tough.”
Despite being happy to be back on the ice, De Jong admits that she enjoyed the dryland training as well. “Sometimes I like it to be off [the ice] for a while. You know you’ll be back on the ice in the winter and in the summer you can cycle a lot to lay the foundations for the winter.”
Antoinette de Jong (NED) during Team Jumbo-Vistma Training Session 2019©BSR Agency /Getty Images