At the European Cups we’re used to seeing skaters from the Czech Republic. But most of them come from Prague or Benatky. In Groß-Gerau an unfamiliar team from the Czech Republic pitched their tent. Half of the team dressed in Zebra striped outfits and the other half wearing suits in the Dutch color orange. We were curious to find out more about these skaters…

Pics: Jana Oudová

 

Štěpán Šváb, the senior skater of the team from Brno told us the story. “It’s the first time that the team is in Groß-Gerau. Most of the skaters are not yet cadets.”

When did you start skating? “I started skating 5 years ago when I was 18 years old, before that I played floorball (indoor hockey). I really wanted to skate so I found a summer job and with the money I bought my first pair of skates.” He started to train at the Bruslarna Club and has since participated in a lot of races. For example the marathon at the European Championship in Steenwijk (2016). “I always thought Holland was flat, but that marathon track was really hard.”

We are joined by Adela Dostalova and Katrin Pencikova, both skaters in the Inline-Akademie. Adele is 11 years old but understands almost all the questions in English. “I was 4 years old when I started skating. My family also skated.” Her mother is one of the trainers of the team. “I skated in Tatabanya (eastern European cup) and Oostende last year.”

The question who her favorite skater is, is immediately answered with “Bart Swings”! On Saturday Adela skated a good race and got 12th place in the 2000 meter mass Start. That race was won by the Polish Hanna Mazur, who almost had the lead the entire race. On Sunday in the 1000 meter mass start Adela finished 13th in the A-final. With another 12th place in the 1500 meter race she showed very consistent racing over the weekend.

 

First the club only had senior skaters, now there is a lot of youth too, they wear the new orange suits. Katrin tells us she’s also having a great weekend. She’s in the Schüler A category and there it’s a lot harder to get good results. At the club she trains 3 times a week but this is her first international tournament.

There’s about 25 skaters in the Akademie. Both the coaches never participated in races, but they do skate marathons, like the one in Berlin.

The story behind the Zebra still remains a mystery, the club logo was designed by one of the members,   but nobody knows why…

The Inline Akademie has its own website https://www.inline-akademie.cz/

Check for all the results https://speedskater-kriterium.de/results/2018_Kriterium/