The Olympic dream of a skater named Nil Llop

December 23, 2021

  • At the age of 19, he is one of the great promises in his sport and now he is the first reserve in the 500-meter speed skating event with options to go to Beijing in 2022 and be the first Spanish Olympic representative in this modality.

The little steps to get closer little by little to the Beijing OlympicsThis coming February, they can be given in many ways and not necessarily walking. Some do it skiing, others hitting with the hockey stick or doing pirouettes with the board. Nile Wolf, a 19-year-old from El Prat de Llobregat, wants to approach by skating fast and propelling his body on the ice. The door for China is not yet open, but the possibilities are to become the first Spanish speed skater to attend an Olympic event.

In fact, all his sporting life has been spent skating, either on wheels or with the blades that mark the ice, even overcoming a very serious accident. It is considered, internationally, as one of the promises of this sport, since it is still at junior age. If you get the square to Beijing 2022 It will be taken as an experience, to learn and to look at the data, in the 2026 medals. There is no rush and yes a lot of time. For now, he is the first reserve in the 500-meter race, the fastest and the one with the best control. In mid-January it will be known if he finally gets the classification.

And what does it depend on, he is asked. “There are 34 skaters and I am 35 and therefore the first reserve. But each country has its own regulations to qualify. For example, the Germans have three representatives in this group of 34, but according to their statutes only one of All three have a safe place. And there are more cases (the Netherlands, for example). For that reason, it is likely that I will go. In January I will find out. “

If someone thinks that speed skating is reaching out and kissing the saint, they are very wrong. In Spain it is a sport that goes unnoticed and that only a future medal of Wolf can be placed in the media framework, as has happened, for example, with Carolina Marin and badminton. It involves spending 12 months doing sports homework. And half the year, and a little more, away from home, because in Spain there is not a facility dedicated to this specialty, which needs an oval ice rink, in the style of a velodrome, which must be pampered and prepared to reach the high speeds from the world’s best specialists.

“I always have to be away from home, mainly in Germany where we spend the winter, when we don’t travel to the World Cup competitions, the Spanish speed skating team. We live in apartments and everything is paid for by the federation.” It means, apart from skating, gym hours intertwined with cycling workouts.

It also means studying high school remotely and making use of video conferences to talk with the family and the girlfriend. “I have skated since I was little. I started with the wheels, but since it was not an Olympic practice, I went to the ice to grow, and with me a group of colleagues who are progressing, despite the fact that we practice a minority sport in Spain.”

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It also forces you not only to train but to take care of the material, those skates that are a sock for the feet. The big countries, the dominators of this sport, have specialists for this treatment. Nil He has learned to prepare his skates and blades. “It is important – he says – to treat it so that it grips well in the curves. Over the years I have learned to sharpen them”. And based on years, and hoping to skate in Beijing, Nile Wolf aspires to be a reference in his sport.