Posted 22/Dec 2010 at 14:17
by in Sports & Events read by 651 people

The "Elfstedentocht" - An Anual Mass Hysteria

Wouldn't it be great, if we would finally be getting an Elfstedentocht - Eleven Cities Tour - this winter season? It's colder than last year, there is ice on the canals so why not! Almost every winter the Dutch population, fueled by the media and cold, enter a state of mass hysteria. In a country where it's difficult to find the true national identity, the Alvestêdetocht is surely something we all like. 

And just like every other year where the temperatures have been subzero for a few days, this year again the mass hysteria breaks open. This time it was the director of MeteoConsult, Harry Otten, who came out with his prediction. It could happen this year, between Christmas and New Year, on the 28th of December. The only thing we need to do is get the snow off the nice, otherwise the snow won't grow. Cold as it may feel, snow actually works quite well for isolation.

Perhaps he shouldn't have said that.

Everything that has been an internet hype over the past years is now being used to do everything humanly possible to help making the tour of all tours in ice skating possible. Twitter (@ElfStedenVegers) is being used to motivate people to clear the snow. On Google Maps (see picture) everybody can follow the thickness of the ice. The Facebook Group "Friese Elfstedentocht" opened recently, apparently to keep people updated. Just like another Twitter channel: @elfsteden2011. Also on Hyves, the largest social network platform for The Netherlands, the eleven-city-fever doens't go unnoticed

But while the population is on the verge of losing their mind the Rayonhoofden, the heads of each of the eleven cities the tour passes, haven't even scheduled a meeting to discuss the possibilities of organizing a tour this year. Rintje Ritsma former dutch long track speed skater, tweets: People, take it easy - on some canals the ice isn't thick enough for more than two people to skate side by side. The official website has no news, and the chairman of the organization that organizes the Elfstedentocht, puts more effort into calming down the people than anything 

I am crossing my fingers for a tour in January 2011, preferrably in the beginning, as then I'll be in the country myself. Surely, despite me being far away up in Denmark I can't get this smile of my face by just the thought of a tour.

The last tour was held on January 4, 1997. Henk Angenent won the male competition and Klazina Seinstra the female.

Update: More help from the Twitter front to make Elfstedentocht 2010 happen @IkGaVegen

Update (28 dec): It seems like the organization finally admits that something could be about to happen:

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