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Figure Skating and Ice hockey in Nepal.

Skating in Nepal;

After successful conduction of the world’s highest Fashion Runway “Everest Fashion Runway”, the government of Nepal is trying to set another record for the world’s highest ice rink in Nepal. Nepal has announced and is preparing for the Figure Skating & Ice Hockey Event which is going to be held on February 14th, 2020 at the highest freshwater lake system of the world, Gokyo Lake of Everest Region.

Figure Skating and Ice Hockey are completely new games to Nepal. Until now, there is no indoor or outdoor figure skating or ice hockey center in Nepal. “Figure Skating & Ice Hockey Event” is introducing the first-ever ice rink in Nepal which is going to be the highest in the world. 3rd Gokyo Lake lies in Sagarmatha National Park (UNESCO world’s heritage site) and is situated at an altitude of 4,790 m. It is the highest freshwater lake system in the world enlisted in the Ramsar site. This lake is frozen throughout the winter (December to February). Most trekkers and climbers include Gokyo Lake in their itinerary during their visit to Everest Base Camp. One can also trek Gokyo Lake separately.

Gokyo Skate

Highest Ice skating rink of world from Gokyo RI. (Figure Skating and Ice hockey)

Figure Skating and Ice hockey event is an approach to promote winter tourism in Nepal. This event is hosted for the first time in Nepal for the promotion of Visit Nepal Year 2020 and also to let the world know Nepal, not only as a trekker’s paradise but also as a destination for winter sports. Even, local people of the Khumbu region are also providing their effort for the launch of this event so that it would create more possibility of tourism even in the off-season from December to March for winter tourism activities.

A teaser video of Figure Skating and Ice hockey in Nepal event has already been uploaded on YouTube by Laura Kottlowski, a figure skating gold medalist of the US. Nick Kalisz, an ice hockey player, and film-maker and Laura Kottlowski went to the 3rd lake of Gokyo to escort the event venue. In the video, we can see Laura Kottlowski enjoying and showing her moves with tantalizing 360° Mountain View including Mt. Everest and Mt. Cho Oyu. The main purpose of the visit was to train and inform the locals about the sport and to prepare the amount of ice for the event. TARA air supported the trip to Gokyo for Laura and Nick.

Gokyo RI

Mt. Everest as seen from Gokyo RI. (Figure Skating and Ice hockey)

This “Figure Skating & Ice Hockey Event” features various Figure skaters, Ice hockey players, Avid climbers, and adventure enthusiasts. Friendly ice hockey matches between various International Ice hockey players from the US, Canada, Sweden, Russia, and India will also be held in the event. List of Participant of the Figure Skating and Ice hockey event from different sources can be enlisted as below:

  1. Jeremy Abbott, US-2008 Grand Prix Final champion.
  2. Patrick Chan, Canada – former competitive figure skater and a 2018 Olympic gold medalist in the team event.
  3. Elizabeth Putnam, Canada – former competitive pair skater.
  4. Matej Silecky, US – a member of the 2012 US Collegiate Figure Skating Champion team.
  5. Nick Kalisz -an ice hockey player and filmmaker.
  6. Laura Kottlowski, US -a figure skating gold medalist.
  7. Tsewang Namgyal, Tinlass Glasston, Tashi Largyal, and Jigmet Rinchen – members of Indo-Tibet Border Police Team.
  8. Dmitriy Viktorovich Dudarev – Participant of 2010 IIHF World Championship.
  9. Sergei Evgenyevich Voronov – ISU Grand Prix NHK Trophy Winner.
  10. Aleksandr Chekashev – Former professional ice hockey player.

GRAF hockey has supported the idea of Figure skating and Ice Hockey in Nepal and donated 31 pairs of skates for the event and also can be used in the future.

Skating in Nepal

Laura Kottlowski skating on Gokyo 3rd Lake. (Figure Skating and Ice hockey)

Focusing on Visit Nepal Year 2020Figure Skating and Ice hockey event can be a very effective campaign to introduce new sports and winter activities in Nepal. Winter is believed as a low season for tourists in Nepal but winter is a paradise for adventure seekers and adventure enthusiasts. Events like this can attract more potential tourists and promote Nepal as a perfect winter destination. Also, more concepts of events and sports activities like this should be conducted and organized for the success of Visit Nepal Year 2020 and also for the slogan “NEPAL FOR ALL SEASON”.

By: Santosh Blon

Global Holidays Adventure Pvt.Ltd