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ice skating

The use of ice skates and their origin

The use of skates in one shape or another has been common for almost a thousand years. We had: in Continental Europe, and were later introduced to Britain. The old Vikings, the Swedes and the Dutch were leaders in the practice of propelling one’s self over the ice on makeshift horses, and have left a legacy that has expanded of wondrous value to humanity. Like many other pastimes, it is impossible to ascertain the exact origin of skating and, as a result, those who would talk of its early state will generalize to a considerable degree.

A compilation of Icelandic literature compiled by Saemund the Wise, probably in 1056-1133, is listed in “Edda” or “Elder Edda.” This is probably the earliest known source from which a fascinating pastime record can be collected. The UUer deity is seen as impressive for his grace, his arrow and his skates. Friedrich Klopstock, the renowned German poet and author, in speaking of skating two hundred years ago, said that guy, “like the Homeric gods, strides with winged legs over the sea turned into solid ground.” Goethe, Herder and other German poets also sang his praises.

Source: Unknown

The wooden board, made of iron or steel, had its debut in the fourteenth century. In the language of Comenius, entitled “Orbis Sensualium Pictus,” such skates are called “strict shoes” from German, and in the print at the head of the segment in that book, they are depicted longer than those of the present day, and the irons appear far higher in front of them. There is historical evidence that iron blades were used as early as the sixteenth century, as documented in 1572 A. D., the Dutch ships, stuck in the Y at Amsterdam, Don Frederick, the son of Alva, sent a body of men to take the ship, but the Dutch musketeers sailed on the skates with ease.

Of course, skating in its undeveloped stage lacked organization. Races were practically unheard of and no records were kept. Holland is believed to have first promoted speed contests on an official basis, crude in the extreme though it was, and later England took up the practice; The first race in England that won a place in the sporting annals of that country occurred in 1823.

Source: Unknown

The case was a five-mile bowl run, worth $125, at Maze Lake, Hertfordshire. Six gentlemen met, and the winner turned out to be an aspirant called Blenkinsop. In the year 1841 W. Ncedham, of March, promised to challenge every man in the world, but before the season was over, he earned his silence from Few, Sutton. At this time we heard about such people as Cross, Ely; Clark, Yaxley, and Sharman, Holme, but the most famous among them was a skater called Register, who came from Southey.


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