Speedskating - Country histories

ArgentinaCanada flag

Main source: Skøytenytt, various messages in the Speed_skating Yahoogroup by Marnix Koolhaas and others.

Southern hemisphere strikes back

Although winters can be cold in southern Argentina, the country does not have any long speedskating traditions. It is said that the Yagan and Ona tribes in Tierra del Fuego used to run and hunt naked over the ice until the 19th century, when the missionaries taught them to use clothes instead of the insulating grease they smeared themselves with, and they died out. If this is true, it is likely that they used some kind of bone skates to “run” over the ice. More recently, lakes at El Calafate, Ushuaia and other places have been used for recreational skating by local residents.

The first Argentinian records were set by Pablo Nicotra, an Argentinian-born Oslo resident who skated on a hobby level for many years in the 1990s and the early 21st century. But the first known races inside Argentina were not held until 2005, when the Fiesta del Hielo, arranged first in 2004 by Club Andino in El Calafate, was augmented with the Trofeo Alexia to arrange speedskating, with the aid of the so-called Society for the Development of Speed Skating throughout the World. The Trofeo Alexia races have been arranged annually since.

José Fazio, an inliner from Mar del Plata, excelled in the first Trofeo Alexia races. He enjoyed ice skating, and went north to participate in international races in the northern winter. Pretty soon, all the Argentinian records were his, and for the last three years he has skated in the World Cup without making any serious impact, but his times have shown good progress every year. The last couple of years, two more Argentinians have skated abroad, Tamara Llorens and Juan Gutiérrez, and it seems there may be hopes for a future of Argentinian speedskating.

The hunt for skatable ice by skating-hungry people in Argentina may sometimes lead you to attractive locations: José Juan training.

The Argentinian ice speedskating organisation has a webpage at www.uvepa.org.

Argentinian records (as at 8 Oct 2008):

José Fazio 10.33 Calgary 14 Mar 2008
José Fazio 37.31 Calgary 3 Jan 2009
José Fazio 1.13.46 Calgary 16 Mar 2008
José Fazio 1.55.31 Salt Lake City 9 Nov 2007
José Fazio 4.15.60 Calgary 20 Sep 2008
José Fazio 7.19.21 Calgary 12 Mar 2008
José Fazio 15.45.47 Calgary 14 Mar 2008
José Fazio 153.805 Calgary 16-17 Mar 2007
José Fazio 170.012 Heerenveen 13-14 Mar 2006
José Fazio 221.622 Laguna Victoria 28-29 Jun 2008
José Fazio 167.624 Calgary 12-14 Mar 2008

Lucila Alvarenga 14.1 El Calafate 5(6?) Jul 2008
Lucila Alvarenga 68.8 El Calafate 6 Jul 2008
Lucila Alvarenga 2.34.8 El Calafate 6 Jul 2008
Tamara Llorens 2.21.36 Milwaukee 3 Feb 2007
Tamara Llorens 4.46.82 Milwaukee 3 Feb 2007
Lucila Alvarenga 296.200 El Calafate 5-6 Jul 2008
Lucila Alvarenga 323.666 El Calafate 5-6 Jul 2008