Skating-crazy Dutch defy pandemic by taking to outdoor ice

DOORN, Netherlands (AP) — A deep winter freeze gripping the Netherlands is reawakening the national obsession with skating on frozen canals. With subzero temperatures forecast to last more than a week, ice fever swept the nation on Tuesday. It’s a respite from grim coronavirus news while also creating a challenge for authorities trying to uphold social distancing rules. Around the country, people are rummaging through attics and dusting off skates that haven’t been used for years. Ice skating is a national wintertime passion in the Netherlands, with the country’s elite athletes dominating Winter Olympic speedskating races in recent years. Amateurs of all ages eagerly await Arctic conditions that allow them to take to the country’s vast network of canals and waterways.