Algarvian Diogo Marreiros, who is runner-up in speed skating in the world and in Europe, aims to reach the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, even if the preparation is on wheels.
The preparation for this challenge takes place across the Algarve, in particular at the Júlio Dantas Secondary School in Lagos, where the 29-year-old skater trains almost daily on one of the two routes suitable for the sport in the region.
At the age of four Diogo put on his first ice skates and at the age of 16 he won the first European Champion medal. Since 1998, Diogo Marreiros has accumulated achievements on wheels related to Roller Lagos, with several titles of European runner-up and world runner-up, 10 km points obtained in the Netherlands in 2018 and now challenging the presence in the US Olympic competitions of winter.
Diogo Marreiros confessed to Lusa that he always had “the curiosity to try ice skating” without the goal of “participating in the Olympics”. However, the invitation of the Portuguese-Dutch athlete Fausto Marreiros, who represented Portugal at the 1998 Winter Games, made it “easier”.
It started in 2017 at his own expense with money he “kept out of cycling competitions” after even running a crowdfunding campaign to fund preparation on ice. A situation that was overcome with the support of the Portuguese Winter Sports Federation (FDI-Portugal) and access to an Olympic scholarship.
Diogo Marreiros Luís Forra / Lusa
For the past four years he has been preparing during the winter season in Germany and the Netherlands, where he has improved his “technique and fitness”, which has enabled him to qualify for the “World Championships” planned for the end of the year. “The World Championships will be held between November 14th and December 14th on four consecutive weekends in Poland, Norway, Canada and the USA. The final ranking of these four [provas] Together they will decide whether or not I can be present in China in February, ”he emphasized.
Diogo Marreiros wants to be one of the 24 representing each country at the mass start and is “convinced” of a good result because it is the modality that is most similar to “the wheels” and the “fastest”. adapts, controversial “on the train”.
In addition to the qualification, another important step for the Olympic offer is the “acceptance” of Portugal as a member of the International Skating Union (ISU), to which it belonged in 1998 when Fausto Marreiros took up “Something Complex” in Magano, Japan due to the very strict Requirements of the ISU and difficult to reach for countries with less tradition in winter sports, as is the case with Portugal.
The pandemic has not made preparation any easier either, with the closure of the Dutch routes shortening training time. The return to the “ice” is planned for September, if the attack on Beijing in 2022 in Germany is in order. Voted. The ice rinks close “between March and September” – with the exception of a brief period in July and August – and many European athletes “travel to countries further south” to “continue preparation” until the season reopens.
Luís Forra / Lusa
The Portuguese ensures that by participating in roller skate races, where he was “still” successful as “European and second in the world”, he can keep the “competitive and physical level on the rise”.
The European Championship will take place from July 18th to 25th in Canelas in the municipality of Estarreja at home. The World Cup will take place from September 4th to 11th in Medellín, Colombia.
Marreiros wants to present itself “in great shape” in order to face the Olympic qualification: “Then it is time to continue and use this good moment to start preparing for the ice and attacking the World Championships in November.”
The trust of the Portuguese skater is strengthened by “greater team support” in these competitions, for example at the European championships with the participation of “three elements per team”. To this end, Diogo Marreiros can rely on teammates Miguel Bravo, Martyn Dias and Manuel Martins, who are training partners on the trail of the Lacobrigense School.