- Skating season '20/'21 is over. An eventful, unusual season in which COVID-19 played the leading role.
Fortunately, despite all the measures, we were able to participate in most of the long track competitions last winter.
Our 'summer' starts in March '20. I started my year with Team IKO, a new team. Due to the pandemic circumstances, we had to slowly build up the group training sessions. Fortunately, the hectic surrounding the virus has remained relatively calm in Friesland and we have been able to complete the summer training well. Summer ice cream and strength in Thialf, rollerblading and cycling through the polders, jumping at the Abe Lenstra stadium and resting on the couch. No training periods abroad, but everything from home.
- The first World Cup cycle, which is normally in November and December, was canceled early by the ISU.
At the location of these world cups, the KNSB has planned the National Distance Championships, the National Allround Championships and the WKKT (world championship qualification tournament) for the New Year. For me, these competitions went well in the D&A skating suit. I could start 2021 with a third place at the National Distance Championships, a second place at the National Allround Championships and a ticket for the 1500 at the World Championships.
- In mid-January, I and 6 other athletes from IKO will enter the much-discussed 'bubble'. It is a long track bubble that the ISU has set up in collaboration with the KNSB, House of Sports and other parties, making it possible to organize international competitions. The European Championships, two World Cups and a World Cup.
The bubble means that we are cut off from the outside world. We are tested several times before we are allowed into the hotel. The last test is when you enter the hotel with all your bags full of D&A clothing :D. You must then stay in the room until the test results are received, which takes approximately 12 hours. After that, a test is taken every week as a precaution. You are not supposed to come into contact with anyone outside the bubble and you are only present in the hotel OR at the ice rink. Other locations are off-limits.
It is a strange sensation to spend five weeks like this, but I feel like the time passed very quickly. The first World Cup was a success with two silver medals in the Team Pursuit and in the B group in the 3000 meters. In the second World Cup I was not able to show what I would have liked to show in the 1500 and 3000 meters. I finished in fifth place at the mass start.
- D&A clothing ensures that we have optimal freedom of movement during all training sessions and when we want to do nothing. My most worn item of clothing is the cycling shorts from D&A. It is a fine chamois in which all the kilometers fly by.
The piece of clothing I like best are the shorts, for summer training, training for ice training and nice in the hotel, they are nice pants that you can always wear. A nice waistband that keeps the pants in place and ensures that they fit well and do not fall down.