After a dip in mass participation in sports and disintegration of much of the system of athletic training following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Putin government, laudably, renewed the efforts to re-popularize winter sports among the masses. Public skating rinks are now everywhere, and many are free. There is one annually on the Red Square. The VDNKH exhibition grounds are now home to the largest ice skating rink in Europe. We have a version of Skating with the Stars, as well as regularly touring “on ice” versions of many popular shows and ballets.

With his efforts in ice hockey, President Putin has led by example – but even for him, it’s a little late for the Olympics, as well. Fret not though, we still have professional athletes, and they are still doing well. Russia won the ice hockey World Cup in 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2018. The successful bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi was a big boost to the popularisation of winter sports, and to the renewal of sports patriotism. The whole country held their breath as they watched figure skater Adelina Sotnikova’s gold medal performance in Sochi…

After a dip in mass participation in sports and disintegration of much of the system of athletic training following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Putin government, laudably, renewed the efforts to re-popularize winter sports among the masses. Public skating rinks are now everywhere, and many are free. There is one annually on the Red Square. The VDNKH exhibition grounds are now home to the largest ice skating rink in Europe. We have a version of Skating with the Stars, as well as regularly touring “on ice” versions of many popular shows and ballets.

History of why Russians so good at ice skating:

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