Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Protected by shield, double Olympic champion achieves Quest for Speed.
Conditions were ideal for Kjeld Nuis to reach high speeds this Wednesday in Lulea, Sweden, with a custom-made aero shield reducing air drag on a 1500m straight track.
Afterwards, Nuis said: “Wow! It really felt like I was flying over the ice. I’ve just skated 50% faster than my fastest race ever. At that race I skated 60 km/h, just now 93 km/h. So bizarre!”
Having won Olympic Gold in both 1000 and 1500 metres in South Korea, he added: “The natural ice was perfect, but it remains a bit bobbly. I did actually fly over that. My skates were really shaking like crazy and that was way more exciting than I expected.
“When I moved beside the aero shield, I really got pushed back be the wind. It felt like hanging my head out of the window on the highway. That exact feeling, but on skates with irons of 1,1 millimeters!”
Swedish racing driver Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsk was driving the car towing the aero shield.
Former speed skater and World Champion Erben Wennemars was part of the team testing the aero shield in a wind tunnel. Wennemars had also tested the shield on normal skates at the (deserted) Twente airport in The Netherlands.