Tinus Udding kept a piece of his big toe that he lost way back in 1963 during the very harsh Elfstedentocht (Eleven-cities Tour speed skating competition in the province of Friesland when it’s cold enough) of 1963. Competition skater and all-round tough guy, Udding brought his left toe bit to the Elfstedentocht reunion held two days ago, commemorating the 45-year anniversary of the 1963 edition. The toe will get its own spot in the Schaatsmuseum (Skating museum) in Hindeloopen. The Elfstedentocht of that year took place in -18 degree weather with ice cold wind. Only 69 people made it to the finish out of the almost 568 competition skaters that took part. Tinus Udding was 31st, minus one toe.
January 20, 2008