World Cup Rollerski, A History, By Jan Verdenius (I)

Posted 30. April 2001 by Editor

The ski jumpers do have a very competitive summer series, the cross country skiers have a world cup series and a world championships in roller skiing.

Jan Jacob Verdenius, the former Dutch, now Norwegian cross country skier who won this season's sprint world cup for men, is a great roller skier. Mr.Verdenius has gathered quite some information from roller skiing, the information will be published in several articles on will follow all the summer series in cross country, Nordic combined, ski jumping and biathlon.

World Cup Rollerski, By Jan Verdenius


Summer training to FIS World Championships. In the early 1950's, when cross-country skiing started to evolve to a serious competition sport, the necessity for good summer training grew. At different places in the world form the 1950's to the 1970's people experimented with skis on wheels.

The first races came as soon as a sort of standard emerged in the end of the 1970's. All rollerskies had 1 wheel in front and two wheels in the back. The metal frame was between 70 and 100 centimetres (2’4" and 3'4") long.

The races became international and the need for a supervising body grew. In the mid 1980's the European Rollerski Federation was established. The first European Championships were organized in the Netherlands in 1988.

The growth of the rollerski sport caused the FIS (International Ski Federation) to notice the rollerski sport. In 1992, in Budapest, the congress decided to incorporate the rollerski sport. A sub-committee was formed. George Brouwer of the Netherlands was (and is) its first chairman.

After the first World games in The Hague, in 1993, the Netherlands, the first World Cup races were held in that same year.

In 1998, in Prague, the congress decided to grant the rollerski sport the official FIS World Championships. On 30 August- 3 September 2000, these competitions where organized in the Netherlands, in Rotterdam and Bergschenhoek.

Nowadays, the rollerskies consist of short aluminium frames of 53 centimetres( 1' 9") with one wheel in the front and one wheel in the back with a 10-centimeter (4") diameter. The wheels are made of an aluminium core and a polyurethane top layer.

The races are very well differentiated: from only uphill, to flat to undulating tracks. From relays, sprints and team races to individual races and pursuit races. On flat tracks the speed can be as fast as 50 kilometres per hour (30 miles per hour). Helmets and protective eyeglasses are mandatory.

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