The origin of Kolomna speed skating
The origin of Kolomna speed skating goes back to the 19th – 20th centuries. By that time the citizens of the town started amateur skating on the frozen over Moscow river. As for professional speed skating, its development began in 1932 when the workers of Kolomna Steamengine Construction Works made up their minds to include skating into their sports meetings. In the end of 1930-s there were already four skating rinks in the city. In 1938 speed skaters from Kolomna for the first time took part in the regional championship. In 1950-s first speed skating sections for youths were opened and Youth Winter Games were held. Later on the stadium Trud professional speed skating track was created under the guidance of Kolomna Machinetool Engineering Works. Besides, regular coach was invited to organize effective work with youth groups. In this consequence in 1960 on the initiative of Boris Shavyrin, the Head Constructor of Kolomna Construction Bureau of Machinetool Engineering, professional speed skating rink with 400-meter track in the open air started to be made on the bank of the river Kolomenka. In the same year the Central Speed Skating Base was brought into action. All the additional appliances including cloakrooms, gym halls for sportsmen and concert hall were situated in the recreation centre nearby.
The first in the USSR Speed Skating Base, equipped with most modern conveniences and technical facilities, permitted the speed skaters to hold on their training all the year round. In the course of a quarter of a century the Speed Skating Base had been the driving force of the USSR professional speed skating development. The Kolomna Speed Skating Base brought up a range of unrivalled sportsmen who later became Olympic and World champions. Together with exceptional physical training it also helped many sportsmen set up in life. The celebrated names of Valery and Yury Muratov, Irina Kuleshova, Viktor Kositchkin, Lidia Skoblikova, Dmitry Dorofeyev and Ekaterina Lobysheva are well-known in Kolomna and all over Russia.
However, 40 years is a considerable period as for maintenance characteristics. By the end of this time the track gradually got out of order. Its reconstruction became the actual problem.
During a few years Valery Shuvalov, the Head of Kolomna Administration, was having intensive intercourse in writing with the representatives of the Russian State Sport Committee, the Russian Olympic Committee, the Russian Skating Union, the Moscow Region Government, the State Duma, the Government of the Russian Federation. The aim was to convince that the reconstruction of sport arena of such scale is the question of vital importance. The idea was supported by the outstanding Soviet sportsmen – Olympic champions Valery Muratov, Lidia Skoblikova and Vsevolod Grishin.
In December 2000 the Moscow Region Government together with the Russian State Sport Committee signed a joint decree «On the reconstruction of the Central Speed Skating Base with artificial ice track». Since then Boris Gromov, the Governor of the Moscow Region, took care of the building and construction of the Speed Skating Center. All the four years of the erection of the Kolomna Speed Skating Center the Governor himself together with other representatives of regional Government had been visiting the building-site regularly and their visits to Kolomna always brought beneficial effect.
Distinguished guests came to Kolomna very often to see the building-up with their own eyes so much it had hit their fancy. In December 2003 Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, came to Kolomna. Unfortunately, his great desire to take part in the official opening and skate on the ice was not fulfilled. In spring 2005 the sight of the new Speed Skating Center took away the breath of Ottavio Cinquanta, the President of the International Skating Union. He couldn’t but say that «the Center in Kolomna will become one of the major sport arenas in the world».
The Speed Skating Center in Kolomna was accomplished within three years, in 2006. That very year in April the first ice was made up. Test skating was held by young sportsmen from Kolomna Speedskating school of Olympic Reserve «Comet» and Alexander Gornostaev, the Vice Chairman of the Moscow Region Government. In May 2006 speed skating coaches from all Russia came to expect the new training base. They decided to conduct the All-Russia Conference of the Skating Union in Kolomna. On 31 May 2006 the Speed Skating Center held its welcome ceremony to mark the new stage of Russian speed skating development. As one of the most popular sports of Russia and the most traditional one for Kolomna, it will be cherished here.
The welcome ceremony of the Speed Skating Center took place in the end of May 2006. In July the regular members of the Russian Olympic Speed skating team and the Russian Olympic Short-track speed skating team have been training on its basis. Later the sportsmen continued their training together with sportsmen from Tcherepovetz Youth Speed skating school and the Russian Youth Olympic Speed skating team.