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Legacy of Lucerne 2021: making Switzerland a top short track nation

Winter Games 21 February 2023

The “Short Track–Swiss Ice Movement” Association was created as a legacy project of the Winter Universiade 2021 of Lucerne to promote short track speed skating in Switzerland, especially at school level.

The project aims to build performing Swiss athletes in short track, using the OYM in Zug as the core center of operations and making it an international short track center of competence.

The idea is to bring talents from related ice sports and train them in world-class conditions, under the lead of Swiss national coach Jeff Kitura – a former successful Canadian ice hockey player and long- and short track speed skater. With the ultimate vision to make Switzerland one of the top nations in the discipline.

But the project also wants to interest the broader Swiss population in short track and ensure that every child in the country can access to ice sports through school programmes – building on the fact than more than 10% of the Swiss population does ice sports regularly.

With that purpose and in collaboration with Swiss Ice Skating, Swiss University Sports and the canton of Zug, the first edition of the Speedy Cup was launched in the winter 2021/22 as part of the Winter Universiade, and the second edition ended just a few weeks ago.

The Speedy Cup focuses on promoting the ability to skate as part of the second cycle education programme (3rd-6th school year), in a playful way and using elements from all ice sports (ice hockey, figure and speed skating). The best schoolchildren qualify for the finals.

The future Thibault Métraux, Dietrich Varaklis or Shaline Rüegger, who all participated in the recent Lake Placid 2023 World University Games, might well be among them.