Corporate / Events
No thin ice here! January 29th, 2008
By Cor Baltus
Kia Netherlands B.V.
Seeing as the weather permits it, and there can be many months of it, several countries of the northern hemisphere enjoy speed-skating as a favourite sport in the winter. In the Netherlands, it seems to be one of the most popular winter sports and, as such, Kia Motors Netherlands decided to support some up-and-coming speed-skaters from around the world.
The Kia Skating Team started in 2004 by team manager, Marnix Wieberdink who used to be a professional speed skater in the Netherlands. He scouted some of the best young talent from Canada, Russia, China, Belarus, Ukraine, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Austria, USA, Slovakia, Switzerland, Kazakhstan and Korea. As a global company committed to sports from a grass-roots level all the way to professional calibre, this seemed like a good fit for the Kia Motors brand.
For the 2007/08 winter season, the team will be racing around the world. The US, Canada, Germany, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Japan will all host competitions where the Kia Skating Team will be competing. Not only will Kia Motors be present at all those events in terms of supporting the individual skaters with uniforms and visa requirements, but it will be forever present on the sidelines providing a warm-up tent with equipment and massage tables. All of this comes in conjunction with our transport vehicles to and from the events.
We are happy to say that this support of these athletes has not gone unnoticed, both by the public and our skaters. In 2007, one of our skaters won the World Sprint Championship and the team won many World Cup races. Earlier this month, the Kia Team recorded a double success with Kyuo-Hyuk Lee of Korea winning the Gold Medal for the second consecutive year after a very close battle with Jan Bos (NED) and Jeremy Wotherspoon from Canada. In the ladies ranking, Jenny Wolf from Germany, a proud Kia skater, topped the athlete’s list by beating out Anni Friesinger (GER) and Annette Gerritsen (NED).
The next few races are scheduled for February and March in different countries in Europe and Japan. We are excited to see how our continued support of the Kia Team will translate into top place finishes. If any of our bloggers happen to catch any of the races, we’d love to hear what you think. Best of luck to all the skaters! Go Team Kia, Go!