Another Swedish winner in 1974

Another Swedish winner in 1974

I picked this piece up in a recent sale of someone’s vintage miniature shoe collection. Recognising it as a Speed Skating boot from the length of the blade, and intrigued by the affixed tile which has an image of a skater and the legend ‘EM 74 ESKILSTUNA’, I was keen to find out more about it.  speed skating, eskilstuna, sweden,

Research has confirmed it to be a souvenir of the European Speed Skating Championships for Men which were held at Eskilstuna, Sweden in 1974.  Inaugurated in 1893, in the early years, the Allround Champion simply had to win the majority of the races over three distances. Later this was increased to four and a scoring system known as the ‘Samalog’ was introduced in 1928 to convert distances into points in order to rank skaters and award medals to the top three positions. In 1974 the gold medal was won by Swedish Olympian Goran Claeson with silver and bronze going to Dutch skaters Hans van Helden and Harm Kuipers.

A women’s championship introduced in 1970 failed to garner enough interest and ceased in 1974 but was happily reinstated in 1981. The sport continues to attract huge audiences among skating enthusiasts with millions tuning in to the watch TV coverage from across the world, and the Italian fan base would no doubt have been thrilled at this January’s 2018 European Speed Skating Championships when Francesca Lollobrigida, great-niece of the legendary actress, took gold in the Mass Start event.

If you are interested in buying this vintage souvenir you can find details here – or if you have any questions or comments then please do get in touch via the Contacts page.