In deze rubriek stellen we ijskoude vragen aan toerschaatsers, professionele marathonschaatsers, oud schaatsers en andere natuurijsliefhebbers. Vandaag in het ‘IJskoud interview met’ een interview met Jan ”De IJsman” Blomqvist. Jan is al sinds 2003 verantwoordelijk voor de natuurijsbaan bij de Zweedse stad Luleå en werkt de hele winter hard om de ijsbaan goed te prepareren voor alle schaatsliefhebbers uit de regio. Zelf vond hij de eerste editie van Schaatsen Luleå in februari 2017 een kroon op zijn werk!
Bekijk hieronder het interview (Engels).
Name: Jan “The Iceman’’ Blomqvist
Date of birth: a long time ago
Work/function: Foreman and in charge of the icetrack in Luleå Kommun
Things I like: A calm weekend in my summerhouse, fishing, dog walks, traveling and playing with my grandkids
Things I don’t like: Donald Trump
Together with your team you’re responsible for the Icetrack in Luleå. Can you describe your daily activities?
Most of the work takes place during December until April. When the ice is thick enough for the machines we start with the preparation of the track. The work is seven days a week during this period of time. We make sure that the ice is secure and that the quality of the ice is good enough for skating. We also make sure that the wind shelters are in good order and the fireplaces have enough wood so people can cook their food if they want to. During the summer it’s mostly maintenance of the machines and buildings.
Since when are you responsible for the Ice track? And are there a lot of things changed since then?
I’ve been responsible for the ice track since 2003 and there has been a big development since the start. When we started the the ice track preparation program we didn’t have our own machines so we needed to lease them from a local company. This didn’t work out well so it’s much easier now because we have our own machines. The icetrack is much longer than in the beginning and the popularity of the track has gone through the roof. The local people in Luleå love to spend their free time on the natural ice and since a few years we even had an increase of tourism in the area.
How did you experience the first edition of Schaatsen Luleå last year?
It was a great experience! It was positive for me personally and for the city Luleå as well.
What do you think about all the crazy Dutch people who like to skate and are visiting Sweden for natural ice?
I think you are awesome! We would love to see more of you guys up here in Luleå next year!
Best regards/ Jan the Iceman!