What’s going on
Over a four week period, from Saturday 1st February to Sunday 2nd March 2014, Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium has been frozen over.
The outdoor Olympic Stadium has been converted into an ice rink as part of an initiative by Rintje Ritsma, Dutch former long track speed skater, in conjunction with House of Sports, a sports marketing company. In the promotional campaign for ‘De Coolste Baan van Nederland’, Ritsma describes how this initiative represents his new dream. The program features a 400m grand oval ice rink, KPN junior ice skating, recreational and competitive ice skating, a skating school, themed days, and also events such as Skate2date on Valentine’s day. In addition to the ice rink in the Stadium, the space outside the front has been converted into a pavilion area for refreshment stalls with gluhwein, rookworst and pea soup.
Tickets are €10 for adults and €7,50 for under 13s. For those that just want to have a look around and do some ‘apres’-skating, admission is €2,50 and this includes a free drink. ‘De Coolste Baan’ is open everyday from 8:30am to 11pm.
As part of the program, every day has a specific theme;
The rink is open in four shifts throughout the day;
There are also special events as part of the program; on Thursday February 27th there is the KPN Marathon Cup Final, and over the last weekend of Saturday 1st / Sunday 2nd March there is the KPN NK Allround & Sprint.
The program is comprehensive and includes something for everyone. Consistent with Rintje’s goal, it encompasses both sporty types who want to skate, and also those who are more social minded and just want to hang out with friends and enjoy some rookworst and gluhwein.
This initiative represents the new dream of Rintje Ritsma, four time world champion ice skater. In a promotional video, Ritsma discusses that when he was 9 years old he had a dream to be a world champion. Having achieved that, his new dream is to hold an ice skating world championship in the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium.
Ritsma’s dream of Coolest Rink is a space for everyone; young and old, sporty or social, and encompasses the world of now and also the realm of nostalgia. His goal in providing ice skating in the olympic stadium is to create something new in skating. The video is definitely worth a look and gives a great insight into Ritsma’s dream and passion, and also the history behind the project.
As part of the goal to create a skating experience for all, the program includes ice skating lessons for all levels including beginner, intermediate and advanced. In groups of 13-15, the lessons make it possible for anyone to master the basic principles. The lessons are run by professional instructors from the skate school of the Jaap Eden Rink in Amsterdam. The price of the lessons is €10 per person, excluding the price of the entrance ticket.
The Coolest Rink is being held at Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium (address Olympisch Stadion 21, Amsterdam).
It is recommended to book in advance online as it can sell out. Skate rental is €6 per pair, per session, and this can be settled near the register in the KPN entrance pavilion. Clothing and gloves are not available for rent. Lockers are available for €0,50 and there is first aid available as well.
The website notes that this is an outdoor ice rink, and as a result sometimes extreme weather can cause it to temporarily close.
More info can be found on ‘De Coolste Baan van Nederland’ website. Bookings can also be made online.
For more information on Rintje Ritmsa’s new dream and the idea behind ‘The Coolest Rink’, check out this video on youtube.
‘The Coolest Ring’ is running from now and the last weekend is Saturday 1st / Sunday 2nd March 2014. Any further details on programs, special events and opening times can be found at ‘De Coolste Baan’ website. There is also a questions section on the website for frequently asked questions including transport, location and parking details.