Thialf

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This article is about the sports arena. For the crane vessel, see SSCV Thialf.
Thialf
Thialf in 2008
Thialf during the Dutch Allround Speed Skating Championship on 28 December 2008
Location Pim Mulierlaan 1
Heerenveen, Netherlands
Owner Essent, Aegon, and the city of Heerenveen
Capacity 12,500 seats
Surface 15,000 m2 (big hall)
1800 m2 (small hall)
Construction
Broke ground 1966
Opened 14 October 1967 (outdoor)
17 November 1986 (indoor)
Renovated 2004
Architect Alynia Architecten Harlingen bv
Tenants
Heerenveen Flyers

Thialf is an ice arena in Heerenveen, Netherlands. The stadium is used for long track speed skating, short track speed skating, ice hockey, figure skating, and non-sports events. The outdoor rink was opened in 1967, and the indoor stadium was opened in 1986. Several world records were set in the indoor stadium. Annually, Thialf hosts two Speed Skating World Cup events. The arena has a capacity of 12,500 seats. Jan de Jong was the ice rink master at Thialf for many years.

History[edit]

Ice skaters and their coaches during the World Cup in the season 2007–2008

Thialf is named after Thor's servant Thialfi who had to race a giant.[1]

The construction of the artificial outdoor ice rink was started in 1966 and it was opened on 14 October 1967 by Princess Christina of the Netherlands. It was the third 400m artificial ice rink in the Netherlands, after the Jaap Eden baan in Amsterdam and the IJselstadion in Deventer. Several national and international tournaments were held in Thialf, but only one world record had been skated on the outdoor rink, by Andrea Schöne on the 5000 m in 1983.

The roofed stadium, which seats 12,500 people, opened on 17 November 1986, about a year after Sportforum Hohenschönhausen in Berlin, which was the first 400m indoor speed skating oval in the world. Thanks to the indoor conditions, allowing climate control, almost all world speed skating records were broken at Thialf in the first season. Since 1988 it has been overtaken as the "fastest ice in the world" by the high-altitude indoor rinks in Calgary and Salt Lake City, which have the additional benefit of low air pressure.

Every year there are main skating events like the Dutch, European and World championships, and two Speed Skating World Cup events in Thialf.

The 2500-seat ice hockey arena adjacent to the speed skating oval is the home arena of the Heerenveen Flyers, one of the Netherlands' most successful ice hockey clubs. It is also the main arena used in the Netherlands for international ice hockey tournaments, for example it host the IIHF World U18 Championships (Division II, Group A) in late March 2012.

Long track speed skating[edit]

Events[edit]

Dutch championships
Discipline in:
Allround 1968*, 1969, 1973, 1979, 1982, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Sprint 1969*, 1973*, 1979*, 1982*, 1989, 1992, 2001, 2008, 2011, 2012
Single Distance 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
* Dutch allround 1968: only for women.
* Dutch sprint: 1969, 1973, 1979, 1982: only for men.
European championships
Discipline in:
Allround Men: 1971, 1975
Women: 1970, 1981, 1982, 1983
M+W: 1990, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2013
World championships
Discipline in:
Allround Men: 1976, 1977, 1980, 1987, 1991
Women: 1972, 1974, 1992
M+W: 1998, 2002, 2007, 2010, 2014,
Sprint 1985, 1989, 1996, 2006, 2008, 2011
World Cup
Discipline in:
World Cup 2006–07: WC1 + WC6
2007–08: WC4 + WC9
2008–09: WC2 + WC8
2009–10: WC2 + WC7
2010–11: WC1 + WC8 (final)
2011–12: WC3 + WC6
2012–13: WC1 + WC9 (final)
2013–14: WC6 (final)

Track records[edit]

These are the current track records in Thialf.

Men
Distance Time Skater Date Duration
500 m 34.31 Netherlands Michel Mulder 27-12-2013 266 days
1000 m 1:08.39 United States Shani Davis 09-12-2007 2476 days
1500 m 1:44.48 United States Shani Davis 13-11-2009 1771 days
3000 m 3:41.48 Netherlands Sven Kramer 20-12-2008 2099 days
5000 m 6:10.37 Netherlands Sven Kramer 29-12-2012 629 days
10000 m 12:45.09 Netherlands Sven Kramer 28-12-2013 265 days
Women
Distance Time Skater Date Duration
500 m 37.60 Germany Jenny Wolf 20-01-2008 2434 days
1000 m 1:15.01 Canada Christine Nesbitt 22-01-2011 1336 days
1500 m 1:53.31 Netherlands Ireen Wüst 29-12-2013 264 days
3000 m 3:58.68 Netherlands Ireen Wüst 09-03-2013 559 days
5000 m 6:49.31 Czech Republic Martina Sáblíková 11-02-2007 2777 days
10000 m 14:39.76 Netherlands Carien Kleibeuker 24-03-2006 3101 days

World records[edit]

The following world records were set in Thialf.

Men
Distance Time Skater Dates
Set Broken
500 m 36.55 United States Nick Thometz 19-03-1987 14-02-1988
1000 m 1:12.58 Soviet Union Igor Zhelezovski 25-02-1989 17-12-1993
1500 m 1:52.70 Soviet Union Nikolay Gulyayev 15-02-1987 05-12-1987
1:48.88 Netherlands Rintje Ritsma 20-12-1997 12-02-1998
3000 m 3:59.27 Netherlands Leo Visser 19-03-1987 13-03-1990
3:57.52 Norway Johann Olav Koss 13-03-1990 03-04-1992
3:52.67 Netherlands Jelmer Beulenkamp 25-02-1998 21-03-1998
5000 m 6:47.01 Netherlands Leo Visser 14-02-1987 22-11-1987
6:45.44 Norway Geir Karlstad 22-11-1987 04-12-1987
6:41.73 Norway Johann Olav Koss 09-02-1991 22-01-1993
6:38.77 Norway Johann Olav Koss 22-01-1993 13-03-1993
6:36.57 Norway Johann Olav Koss 13-03-1993 04-12-1993
6:30.63 Netherlands Gianni Romme 07-12-1997 08-02-1998
10000 m 14:03.92 Norway Geir Karlstad 15-02-1987 06-12-1987
13:43.54 Norway Johann Olav Koss 10-02-1991 20-02-1994
13:03.40 Netherlands Gianni Romme 26-11-2000 20-02-2002
12:57.92 Netherlands Carl Verheijen 04-12-2005 31-12-2005
12:49.88 Netherlands Sven Kramer 11-02-2007 10-03-2007
Women
Distance Time Skater Dates
Set Broken
500 m 39.43 United States Bonnie Blair 19-03-1987 06-12-1987
3000 m 4:16.85 Netherlands Yvonne van Gennip 19-03-1987 05-12-1987
4:07.80 Germany Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann 07-12-1997 13-12-1997
4:05.08 Germany Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann 14-03-1998 27-03-1998
5000 m 7:40.97 East Germany Andrea Schöne 23-01-1983 15-01-1984
7:20.36 Netherlands Yvonne van Gennip 20-03-1987 28-02-1988
6:55.34 Germany Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann 25-11-2000 10-03-2001

Other events[edit]

The arena has hosted concerts by many famous artists, including Whitney Houston, Andre Rieu, TOTO, Trance Energy and Tina Turner, among others.

Also, the national Miss Universe competition was held in Thialf several times.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°56′19″N 5°56′31″E / 52.9386°N 5.94201°E / 52.9386; 5.94201