Short track speed skater Niels Kingma aims his arrows at the Milan Winter Games

Short track speed skater Niels Kingma aims his arrows at the Milan Winter Games

Kingma is easily recognizable on the ice by his skate shoes. His right skate is white and his left skate is black. Velcro straps are dark blue. Because the speed demon is a bit of a showman.

“Sometimes, of course, it’s the short track, of course, isn’t it? Giving yourself and the public a show and racing. It’s going to be beautiful.”

Kingma was born with genuine sprint fibers. In his debut at the Dutch national championships for seniors, he immediately surprised last season with silver in the five hundred meters.

“Actually my strongest point is the first meters of the 500m. I can always catch up there. Then I can sit behind someone and hold my position or overtake. But of course I want to win the race from the start. The start is something I excel at.”

But according to Gerstolt, his second half of the 500 meters will be slightly better. “It doesn’t have much to do with tactics, but more with the way he skates. The most important thing is that no one can go down in the race.”

Kingma thinks the best discipline is the relay: a grueling relay race over five kilometers between national teams. To an outsider it looks like a big mess.

“I call it organized chaos,” laughs Kingma. “Because we do it so often, you know what’s going on. But you’re with sixteen people on the track, everything has to be perfect, all the switches have to be tight. At one point the snow gets really bad, and then it gets really bad. Heavy. It’s really cool. Ultimately, the cutting At the Edge, the most fantastic overtaking happens when everyone breaks down. It’s fun.”

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Later this month, Trent will leave for Universidad in America. This year the Student World Championships are being held in Lake Placid.

“A lot of good Koreans drive there. They only have university teams in Korea. There are all the people you meet internationally. That goes for many countries,” explains Gerstalt. “I’m really looking forward to it, it’s going to be a very high level competition,” concludes Kingma.

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