|Posted by speedskating-online on December 30, 2007 at 9:14 AM|
Written by: Naomi
Dutch speed skating fan
I?m not really good at keeping my promises, am I?? In the blog about the World Cup in Heerenveen I promised to write about my promise to Denny Morrison, but because of Jan Bos? victory in Erfurt, I more or less forgot about that.
The promise. Okay, what do you say to a speed skater who is coming over to you to sign your sign? I still don?t know what the right thing to say is, but I decided to ask Denny what he would like his new website to be called. He was a little bit surprised that I wanted to make a website for him, or maybe he was surprised that I could, I don?t know. But it doesn?t matter, because at a certain point in the conversation I promised to make a website and that I would keep in touch.
Not exactly sure what I had in mind, or even how I would do it, I just decided to get to it. I designed a website for Denny Morrison. And I must say, it was very hard work, but also great fun. Step by step, I learned more and more things and the hard work is paying off now: I?ve managed to make a website (www.denny-morrison.com)! The next promise is a new sign. Also hard work, but fun to make...
This actually brings me to another thing about my life: how do you plan a nice speed skating trip and how do you decide what competitions to go to?
In my case, it?s either predetermined or a case of boredom and being in a very good mood. I will first explain the predetermined part of the trip planning. Of course, being a speed skating fan in Holland puts you in the category of lucky people. Holland has the Thialf in Heerenveen and I don?t exactly know why, but we always get 2 or 3 events a year. Most of the time we get a fall and a winter World Cup and on top of that a World Championship or at least the European Championships. As soon as the calendar is published, it?s settled. We will go to Heerenveen, if we manage to get tickets?
However, it?s different when it comes to the World Cups and other competitions abroad. In 2003 I decided to combine a winter holiday with the World Single distances Championships in Inzell. That was absolutely fabulous, and made me long for more. The 2006 Winter Olympics were in Torino, and since Italy is relatively close to home, I decided to go. I managed to get the money together for the trip, but something happened in my personal life, which shifted my priorities. So I never went to see the Olympics in Torino.
When the calendar for this season was published, we more or less joked around to go to Nagano to see the World Single Distances Championships again. But because of my other travel plans, we never managed to put the trip together. We will call it lack of time and lack of money.
But being back in Holland again, the speed skating fever hit me at full strength. And so it happened we planned a trip abroad in one hour. I was on the phone with Caat, who was very bored at her work one lazy Sunday afternoon, and before we realized what we had just done, we had booked a trip to Baselga di Pine to see the World Cup this upcoming February. The flight was very cheap, we got a rental car with a discount and there?s always some cheap hostel around. The only problem is usually how to get the time off from work, but we never worry about that. I also don?t really care where we go, as long as I can afford it, and as long as there?s speed skating involved. So, Baselga di Pine, here we come!
I think it was also on one of Caat?s boring days at work when she called to tell me how awesome it would be to go to the World Cup in Hamar. I was a bit surprised when she presented me with a complete travel plan. Fly to Sweden, drive to Norway and go to the World Cup in Hamar for 3 days. All good things combined, so to speak. But there was one major obstacle and that was the lodging problem. Norway is a very expensive country and with the speed skating World Cup in Hamar and the European Championships handball in Lillehammer, it was impossible to find a place to stay that was not going to be a problem for our tight budget. So we decided 4 skating trips in one season would be enough? for this year.
But then the calendar for the 2010 Olympics got published and that put Caat and me into a vibe of ?when are we going, where are we going? craziness. We noticed immediately that it would take some puzzling because the men?s half pipe snowboarding final will take place at the exact same time as the men?s 1000m speed skating. But that?s just the dilemma of what to see when we get there. Another problem is to arrange a flight to Canada, but the biggest problems will probably be to find a place to stay and to get tickets.
Now, Caat and I are not really people who linger over problems. We just ignore them and shift our attention to another project. While looking at the calendar for the upcoming years, we noticed that the 2009 World Single Distances Championships will be in Vancouver. And at that point, we decided to check it out for the 2010 Olympics. To see if it?s worth our trouble to fly over there in 2010...
But hopping over the ocean to Canada for just one week is a little bit too extravaganza for us. So we fantasized that the last 2 World Cups will probably be in North America as well and going over there to go to Salt Lake City-Calgary-Vancouver sounded more like it would be worth our trouble. Caat already got to it by looking at tickets to Utah, Greyhound bus trips to the other cities and flying back from Vancouver. I also think she checked out the Starbucks website to see how many coffee mugs she will be able to collect on this trip, but I?m not sure?
The only obstacle will be the ISU. Will they agree to our travel plans?? I hope they do, because it will be a marvellous trip. And that?s how a trip abroad is born. Once the ISU will publish the dates for the World Cups in the 2008-2009 season, we will check it out, to see if it fits our plan, and we will go. It?s as easy as that. And if not, then we had a lot of fun thinking about it.