Speed skating is a winter sport with a great sporting tradition. First approaches to skating on the ice go to the 18th century in England. The first recorded race was held in 1763 in the north of England. The first men’s world championship took place in 1889 in Amsterdam. The first World Cup both for women and men was in 1936 in Stockholm. Since 1924, the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, speed skating has been an official Olympic discipline.
The key for this winter sport, whether for professional or amateur, is specially constructed skates. The shoes are laced and below ankle. The long sharp steel of up to 45 centimeters long is attached to the foot of the shoe. The 1 millimeter thick blade has a slight curvature in the longitudinal direction, which allows running in different sides. The central idea of the construction is that the blade rises a bit while leaving the surface of the ice and attaches to the shoe again only after touching the ice. This technique allows a skater much longer and energetic gliding on the ice.
Speed skating is therefore a winter sport of more of the right technology than of the athletics. Strength and endurance are the basic requirements, but the technology determines the optimal gliding and the “remittance" of the steps. Certain sequences, straight and curved movements, differ from each other and must be learnt very thoroughly. Strength and stamina can best be got on the bike.
There are centers of the speed skating in Hamar, Norway, where the 1994 Winter Games took place, or in Inzell, Chiemgau. Both places are in strong winter sport regions that mainly offer winter holidays. Besides, a great opportunity in speed skating, offered by Hamar and Inzell, is presented by wonderful cross-country ski trails. One more alpine resort offering speed skating is in Davos. Many places here with traditional ski huts invite you to stay. Davos also has the biggest natural rink for speed skating. Davos also offers any type of accommodation.