Local man maintains love for skating indoors during lockdown
A Turkish man spends his time under lockdown by sharing visual materials on social media that shed light on the history of ice skating and which he has archived for 64 years.
Fehmi Tekelioğlu, 74, who started ice skating in a pond in Ankara’s Gençlik Parkı (Youth Park) in 1957 and founded the first ice skating club in Turkey in 1964, is trying to instill the love of ice skating into others on lockdown days.
“I have to stay at home due to the pandemic, I can’t skate right now, but I’m researching the history of ice skating. I had been thinking about writing memories for years,” Tekelioğlu said.
“I share newspaper pieces, old photos and interviews that I kept starting from 1960,” he said.
Tekelioğlu, who has the images of various events such as the first fashion show and the first folk dance show on ice, said that as he looked at the photos he recalled and relived those days.
“I get comments about my posts from many students that I haven’t been in contact with for years. I also add photos and newspaper publications to their archives. So, I don’t understand how the days go by,” he noted, adding that there are people who found themselves from many countries from Australia to Ukraine.
Tekelioğlu has contributed to the training of many athletes and referees who have been successful in international competitions.
The Youth Park where he first began ice skating is one of the oldest green spaces of the capital.
He said that he does not stay away from sports by skating with roller skates for 30 minutes in his house every day. He is now counting down the days that he will return to ice skating, when the curfew ends.
Tekelioğlu said that he will continue to compile documents that will shed light on the history of ice skating in Turkey after the outbreak.
Turkey established the Ice Skating Federation in 2006 and is a member of the International Skating Union (ISU).
Separately, Turkey has an ice hockey federation and a super league, which was founded in 1993, as well as national teams in men’s and women’s categories.
According to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), Turkey has 30 indoor and two outdoor rinks.