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European Speed Skating Championships

On 6-8 January 2012 City Park Icerink renovated in fin-de-siecle style is hosting European Speed Skating Championships welcoming the very best speed skaters of our continent. This highly renowned international competition will not only promote skating, but also heighten Hungary’s image and further the development of young, talented skaters.

As the new year is starting, the best speed skaters of Europe are getting ready for the European Championships hosted by Hungary this year. The organizers hope to welcome all who are interested in the event either on the spot or in front of the TV sets, as MTV Hungarian channel will broadcast the event live. Nearly 80 skaters of 17 nations will be arriving in Budapest to compete at the distances of 500, 1500, 3000, 5000 és 10 000 meters. Based on the overall results a European Champion will be announced for females and males. Journalists and photographers from all over Europe will be reporting of the European Championships.European Speed Skating Championships as the first step in rejuvenation of Hungarian skating Hungarian National Skating Federation is planning to use the event as foundations for its long-term plans. Building on a strong basis of Junior skaters, the Europeans will support this age category, as talented athletes will surely be inspired by meeting the best skaters of our continent. What is more, the modernized rink will ensure suitable conditions for their preparation. Our best Senior skaters can participate at the Championships; although neither Ágota Tóth, nor Szabolcs Szőllösi has any realistic chance for a podium, the event may serve as an important preparation phase for 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
“ It is time for a rejuvenation in Hungarian Speed Skating sport. In accordance with our plans, Hungarian National Skating Federation is taking a new path with long-term plans in all fields of skating. ESSENT ISU European Speed Skating Championships is the first milestone which hopefully heightens Hungary’s image, as well, as the best athletes of Europe will be accompanied by coaches, fans and friends, with a great number of media representatives, spending almost a week in Budapest. ” − said Lajos Kósa, President of HNSF, Member of Parliament.Close to 300 participants from about 20 countries are invited to the Championships who will be accompanied by their fellow supporters in a period which is a low season for Budapest. Although the Europeans is extremely important for competitive skating, Hungarian National Skating Federation has other objectives: although in Hungary ice skating is one of the easiest available winter sports to the public, the number of amateur skaters is not that high. The publicity of this event may boost the attendance at ice rinks and this could have a positive impact on competitive skating, as well.

“We are planning an exciting Europeans with enjoyable races and additional games for the audience. We hope that this will bring skating closer to a lot of people and perhaps skating may get integrated in school physical education classes.” − said György Sallak, General Secretary of Hungarian National Skating Federation.The Hungarian audience will be rooting for the dynamic Hungarian girl The only Hungarian skater who will be competing at the Europeans is
Ágota Tóth: she managed to qualify at Canadian-American Open in Calgary for 3000 meters. „I can feel a healthy dose of excitement as I will be the only Hungarian skater in front of our audience. I think I am in good form, I have had a successful preparation period, although I train in indoors, so the outdoors rink may bring some surprises. I will definitely do my best!” – said the ever-smiling Ágota Tóth.

Emblematic skaters competing for the medals

Rintje Ritsma Former Dutch long track speed skater is known as The Bear from Lemmer in the Netherlands. He has won the World Allround Championships 4 times and has won the European Allround Championships a record 6 times. He participated in five Winter Olympics, winning two silver and four bronze medals, from the 1994, 1998 and 2006 Games. At the 2012 European Championships he was present as a commentator for television.

Anni Friesinger

One of the most popular female German athlete is coming from a real speed skater family, but she even managed to surpass her parents’ achievements. She has won five Olympic medals; gold at the 1500 m in the 2002 Winter Olympics and the team pursuit in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics as well as bronze at the 3000 m in the 1998 Winter Olympics and the 1000 m in the 2006 Winter Olympics. As well as being a five-time European Allround Champion and three time, World Allround Champion, Anni Friesinger has won numerous titles in the World Single Distance Championships. She has set the world record at the 1500 m distance three times during her career; the Olympic record - 1:54.02 - still belongs to Friesinger, and was set 20 February 2002 during her winning run at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. She is attending the 2012 Europeans as commentator for a Dutch TV channel.

Sven Kramer
The Dutch skater is the Olympic Champion of the 5000 m in Vancouver 2010. Despite his young age he already has 4 European Allround Championships under his belt. He has won World Championships in 5000 m, 10000 m and the team pursuit. He is the first speed skater in history to win 4 consecutive world allround championships, and 8 consecutive international allround championships.

Havard Břkko
The Dutch skater – also known by the nick-name „Shadow” – is widely considered as one of he most promising skater of the upcoming years. At the age of 23 he won the at 1500 m at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, then one year later he became world champion in this distance. He has 5 silver medals at World Championships, plus two silver and one bronze medals at European Championships.

Martina Sablikova
The talented Czech athlete got herself noticed by her outstanding results already as a junior skater. At the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver (2010), she won three medals, two golds (3000 and 5000 metres) and one bronze (1500 metres). Specializing in long distance races, she is also multiple world champion. Martina Sablikova also competed in several inline speed skating and cycling races as a part of her summer preparation for the skating season.

Ireen Wüst

She is the youngest Dutch Olympic champion in Winter Games history. She was only 19 when she won at 3000 meter distance event in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. At the next Olympics she won a gold medal at the 1500 meter. meteren lett aranyermes. The 5-time World Champion and 6-time silver medalist at World Championships was elected as te Best Dutch Sportswoamn of the year 2006.Hungarian speed skating icon and a unique relic in City Park Icerink Hungarian National Speed Skating Federation is preparing a special surprise! Kornél Pajor, the first and – up to now – the only Hungarian speed skating world champion – currently residing in Sweden – has been invited to the event. The 88-year old sports icon is bringing along his skates (made in 1948) with which he won the world championship and set two world records. Mr. Pajor will be skating laps of honours in his famous skates and will be joined in this by Ágota Tóth on 3 January following the press conference.

  • What? European Speed Skating Championships
  • When? 6-8 January 2012 Friday-Sunday
  • Where? City Park Icerink
  • How much? 9900 Ft - 15500 Ft

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