WINTER OLYMPICS 2018

Gold, Gold and more medals …

This year for some reason, I have been watching several live broadcasts from the Winter Olympics 2018. Wow, what a start, an amazing Opening Ceremony, with spectacular things, like the 1200 drones flying simultaneously and forming the five Olympic rings in the air!

But yesterday saw the start of the skating. I used to skate when I was a girl. Went every Saturday for lessons at Richmond Ice Rink (UK), whilst my parents did their weekly shopping. I actually got quite good, but this is not speed skating or doing long laps around the rink, this is more ice skating in the form of dance, jumps, pirouettes and such like. Shame I never took it any further.

When I arrived in Holland in 1977 I was introduced by a colleague to skating on natural ice outdoors. I remember one weekend, when the ice was particularly good, she asked me to come with her on the so-called ‘ Windmill Tour’ near to where I lived. Well, yes, I can skate and I have skates, so got them sharpened and off we set one Sunday morning. There is something quite special about skating on natural ice and also the more stops you make for warm chocolate milk with a dash of rum, the better you get. It was such fun.

I remember the next morning I could hardly get out of bed. My muscles were aching all over my body. I suppose it had been a bit optimistic to get out on skates, for the first time in years, and then do a 30 km tour. I hobbled into the office hoping that I could sit down the majority of the day and allow my poor limbs to recover.

This is the reason why I have a lot of admiration for the Dutch top skaters. They follow rigorous regimes of training all year around, summer and winter there is no respite at that level.

So yesterday was the 3000 m for women and several top Dutch competitors. A surprise win by an outsider by it gives you a feeling of pride (even though I don’t originate from Holland but have lived here now for 44 years) when all the three competitors step up for the medal ceremony and this tiny little country has the top 3 world places.

This morning was the turn of the men, Sven Kramer (we have the same surname, just by chance) and he won his third Olympic Gold medal and set a new Olympic record. (5000m) What an achievement.

I was watching the ‘short trackers’ too. Another medal (silver) for Holland for his achievement in a very tough and busy group.

Yes it is moments like this that make the people of Holland very proud. You can spot them all the time amongst the crowds, always dressed Orange (the national colour), with funny hats and the King and Queen are with them too, having equally as much fun.

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Jill Kramer

Hi! I'm Jill and I'm a passionate author of books, short stories, columns and blogs.

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