Google doodle celebrates the 150th birthday of Dutch athlete ‘Jaap Eden’

Google doodle celebrates the 150th birthday of Dutch athlete ‘Jaap Eden’

Today’s Google Doodle honours Dutch athlete Jaap Eden, who turns 150 today. His athletic abilities made him an international sensation in the early 20th century, and he is still the only individual to hold the titles of world champion in both cycling and skating.

In Groningen, Netherlands, on this day in 1873, Eden was born. His grandparents reared him, and he spent most of his early years playing sports. A retired Dutch skater saw fifteen-year-old Eden training and thought he had a lot of potential. After three years of preparation and success in amateur contests, Eden made his international debut. At the World Allround Speed Skating Championships in 1893, he won his first international championship.

Two skating world records, including the five-kilometer race, which stood for 17 years, were broken by Eden in 1894. Eden found time to train for and compete in cycling, another sport he loved, despite competing at the highest level of skating competition in the world. He set a world record in the 1,000-meter race after winning the cycling world championship in the same year.

In Hamar and St. Petersburg, Eden won two more skating world championships. Until 1902, he cycled and skated, but when his performance started to suffer, he decided to stop. The largest indoor/outdoor skating rink in the nation and the home of the hockey team the Amsterdam Tigers was built in Amsterdam in 1961 and named Jaap Eden Ice Rink. After Eden, the Dutch Sportsman of the Year award was established ten years later. He is one of the most well-known athletes from the Netherlands, and his legacy continues to motivate skaters and cyclists all over the world.

Jaap Eden, happy birthday!


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