Stolz’s dominance was hardly a You can be certain of one thing: the Week began. He won the World Cup races. the However, he failed to win the junior championship. This is normal for young skaters. It was not clear if these championships would mark his transition or if there would be any. a Coming-out Party at All

How his Dutch supporters reacted can show the change in his standing. the weekend wore on.

The Dutch have the most skating-mad people on earth; the country’s rich art tradition includes paintings of ice skaters From almost 500 years back. Thialf a A grand monument of love and tradition. It is an oval filled with 12,500 orange-clad admirers. This is where the rowdiest people live. the curves, in standing-only sections named for Sven Kramer and Ireen Wüst, considered the Dutch skating’s king and queen.

National flags indicate small pockets of support for skaters from other countries — Stolz’s parents, Dirk and Jane, sat with the Other American skaters’ families are behind the Stars and stripes hanging from the stands — but the Sport has a large part of our lives a Dutch affairs

Dutch rivals glide onto the Ice for warming up, the cheerleaders are so excited that they often have to stop laughing. the Come out and cheer on other skaters as they compete. They race all around the oval, yelling follows, a This is a kind of wave in the auditory area. Their first place flashes onto which is when the loudest cheering occurs. the It was used many times by video screens in races with no feature. Stolz.

But even in the Netherlands, there are signs of speedskating’s lack of standing in world sport. Thialf does not reside in Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Heerenveen. a An estimated 30,000 people live in the town. the Friesland is a pastoral province in northern Friesland that can seem isolated from the rest of Europe. the Rest of the country. It is the TrackTown USA equivalent in Eugene (Ore.).

Thialf’s home is surrounded with houses and some have horses. the yard. Other than the The venue was a One vendor sells vibrant orange Holland scarves as well as blue-and-red Friesland Hats. One food truck sold krokets. the Dutch version of French croquettes and frikandel a Deep-fried sausage for as low as $4

That is to say, Dutch speedskating lovers aren’t just partisans. They are also fans of the sport. the The sport of skiing. The past champions of the world, as well as those who perform well at Thialf are greatly appreciated. Friday’s polite cheers for Stolz transformed into Saturday’s recognition of a champion, and finally into Sunday’s appreciation for having witnessed one of the The greatest speedkating tournaments of all time