In many reference books you can read that skates appeared in our country thanks to Peter the Great, which he allegedly brought from Europe. This is a controversial statement, since devices for moving on ice, reminiscent of modern skates, were found during archaeological excavations in Novgorod, Pskov and Staraya Ladoga. They were made from the bones of horse legs.
It turns out that skates were known here long before Peter. The tsar only managed to improve them by tightly fastening the skates to the shoes. The monarch did not like to tie them to his boots every time, so he decided to get rid of this problem with the help of rivets. True, skates were already made not of bones, but of wood with metal blades. Gradually, wood was completely replaced with metal.
If in Russia skates were made from horse bones, then the peoples of Siberia used walrus tusks for this. And in China, walruses are not found, but bamboo grows in abundance. It was used to move on ice, pushing off with bamboo sticks.
The world's first speed skating club was opened in 1604 in Scotland. Club members organized various competitions. They not only ran at speed, but also amused the audience with various tricks on skates. For example, on the move they raised coins thrown by spectators. In case of luck, they kept the coin for themselves. What are not the first professional athletes?
In 1967, skates made about 3, 000 years ago were found on the banks of the Southern Bug River in the vicinity of Odessa. Presumably, such devices were used by the Cimmerians - a nomadic people who inhabited the Black Sea region at that time.
It is easy to guess that the very name "skates" comes from the word "horse". Russian craftsmen often decorated skates with figures of horses.
The great Russian writer Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy skated to a ripe old age. For this, he specially
went to the Lower Pond near Yasnaya Polyana. And Pushkin mentioned skating in his poem "Autumn":
How fun, having shoes with sharp iron feet, Glide on the mirror of standing, even rivers!
What speed can you develop on skates? Decent enough. Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov holds a world record at a distance of 500 meters. Kulizhnikov covered this distance in 33.98 seconds. The athlete's speed was 52, 94 km / h. But the world record holder at a distance of 1, 000 meters, American Shani Davis, ran even faster: he reached the finish line in 1 minute and 6.42 seconds. It turns out that its average speed over the distance is 54.2 km / h.
In 2017, Russian ice hockey player Alexander Ovechkin put up his skates for auction. They left for $ 9, 500, and all funds were sent to the fund of the American Special Hockey Association, which is developing this sport among people with disabilities.
In 2003, five extreme skaters from Holland decided to cross Lake Baikal along its entire length. In 18 days, they were able to overcome more than 600 km. True, in some areas the thickness of the snow cover reached one meter. I had to take off my skates and overcome the snowdrifts on foot.