It seemed almost ‘impossible’ in the current corona epidemics, but the Dutch skating association KNSB still succeeded: creating an international ice skating bubble in Friesland, which was maintained without incident for more than a month. “I am very proud of what we have achieved here from the House of Sports, KNSP and, finally, Dialp,” said Remy de Witt, Technical Director, KNSP, Dutch Skating Association.
It started with the European All-Round and the European Championship Sprint in Dialp (January 16-17) and ended with the World Championship distances (February 11-14) via two World Cups (January 22-24 and 29-31). With the exception of a few ‘borderline cases’ that may have been the result of old epidemics, all those involved at the Frisian skating rink and the four skating hotels were negative.
“The technical director, Moritz Hendrix Sports Umbrella NOC *, who came to the NSF, aptly said: ‘The whole world is watching us’. This indicates that we have done something special and very good here.”
Thanks to Dutch efforts, the International Skating Union ISU escaped a lost season. “The Board has really responded very enthusiastically. They are very pleased that our feedback has been implemented. You can see that this is not possible anywhere in the world. The ISU was very strict in all the rules and it is logical, of course.”
De Witt did not rule out that the ISU would use the Dutch approach as a blueprint for other matches if the Corona crisis continued. “I think, yes. The Olympic test event on the short track will be in Beijing in October. It is still uncertain on the long track. In principle, four World Cups are scheduled for North America and Europe in November and December. ISU still removes North America along with China. But on the other hand, we have to deal with corona protocols that are not yet correct. If you travel to China, I believe you must first be in isolation for twenty days. In a government building. Then it is not easy to operate. ”
De Witt has a few more Chinese things to discuss with ISU. “We understand that Chinese athletes are already training at the Olympic arenas in Beijing. If you want to create equal opportunities for competition, I don’t think that’s the goal.”
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