Winter in Russia Means Winter Sports Season is Open
People love winter sports in Russia. Russians are sportive people and during the winter they don’t miss the chance to go ice-skating or skiing in the weekend. Then don’t be surprised to find them walking around the city or in the metro stations carrying a pair of skis underarm. Few activities indeed restore our mind and body and give us pleasure as doing sports maybe surrounded by a stunning natural environment. So having the chance to be in Russia during winter, why not take advantage of the many leisure activities of this time? And isn’t Russia from the Soviet era among the leaders in winter sport competitions?
To begin with, ice hockey is one of the most popular sport in Russia. It can be acknowledged a long tradition of success since the time of Владислав Третьяк (Vladislav Tretiak) and Вячеслав Фетисов (Vyacheslav Fetisov) to the more recent Павел Дацюк (Pavel Datsyuk) and Александр Овечкин (Alexandr Ovechkin). Russia has always been on the top positions of the international rankings. Many ice hockey arenas in Russia offer the opportunity to watch Russian best players in action. In Moscow and Saint Petersburg you can enjoy the powerful game of ХК Динамо Москва (HC Dynamo Moscow)and Хоккейный клуб СКА (Hockey Club SKA) at ГБУ “Спортивный комплекс “Крылатское” (Krylatskoye Ice Palace) and Лужники, Малая спортивная арена (Malaya Arena Luzhniki) in Moscow and Ледовый Дворец (Ice Palace) and Спортивный комплекс “Юбилейный” (Yubileyny Sport Palace) in St. Petersburg.
Next to ice hockey, there is bandy similar to both ice hockey and football. The teams Dynamo Moscow and Dynamo Kazan got the best results in the past seasons. Perhaps less known than others, this sport is really appreciated in Russia where it is considered a national sport. What’s more, as part of the national traditions this is the only sport to enjoy the patronage of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Figure skating, as well, has a successful tradition starting from the first Russian Olympic champion Николай Панин-Коломенкин (Nikolai Panin-Kolomensky) in 1908 at the London Olympics. During the mid-20th century the Soviet Union developed an effective policy in order to reach athletic world power and later a legacy has been born. The couples Татьяна Тотьмянина (Tatiana Totmianina) and Максим Маринин (Maxim Marinin) and Елена Бережная (Elena Berezhnaya) and Антон Сихарулидзе (Anton Sikharulidze) and the figure skater Евгений Плющенко (Evgeni Plushenko ) are among the most famous and favourite Olympic champions.
Thanks to this spread love for winter sports, in every cities you have the possibility to ice-skate, ski, snowboard or snowshoe! That’s the perfect thing to do on a weekend when you have more free time to spend and you want to have a break from the daily routine. So for the ones who are fond of these sports or just want to enjoy the active side of winter in Russia, I suggest you take advantage to the many ice-rinks, public stadiums or open areas and park in and around the city. In all the locations it’s also possible to rent ice-skates, skis and sledges. And if you are more into watching sports, in all the main ice arenas take place ice hockey matches or figure skating shows. So, do you have plan for the coming weekends?
Here you can find some of the main locations close to the city centre
Ледовый Дворец (Ice Palace) http://newarena.spb.ru/
Спортивный комплекс “Юбилейный (Yubileyny Sport Palace) http://www.yubi.ru/
Приморский парк Победы (Primorsky park Pobedy) http://www.primparkpobedy.ru/kontaktyi/
Outdoor ice-rinks, ski slope
ЦПКиО им. С.М. Кирова (Krilov Central Park of Culture and Leisure) http://elaginpark.org/en
Красная площадь (Krasnaya ploshad) http://www.gum.ru/en/projects/rink/
ЦПКиО им. Горького (Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure) http://www.park-gorkogo.com/eng/winter/icerink/
ГБУ “Спортивный комплекс “Крылатское” (Krylatskoye Ice Palace) http://www.skating-palace.ru/en/about/
This post was brought to you by Jessica, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz
Photo Credit: Creative Commons