Hungary's hosting 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.
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 location of the European Championships is worthy of attention in itself. City Park Icerink built in fin-de-siecle style and now renovated by state-of-the-art technology is the largest open-air icerink of the world. It is a completely unique place to skate: on historical grounds, in the middle of a metropolis. The rink is also suitable for organizing a continental or world event, as well. As the Director of the City Park Icerink told us: − “Allocation of this European Championships to an open-air venue is highly significant, as this is a major recognition of traditional skating environments. The rink hosted a successful World Championships in 2001 and now we have a modern rink that allows us hosting a European Championships that will hopefully turn out a success.”
All are very welcome to Essent ISU European Speed Skating Championships. You can find detailed information on how you can purchase your tickets here.