Uproar in the northern provinces this week! A committee of officials from the Royal Dutch Skating Association and the Dutch Olympic Committee has decided that the new national ice skating stadium should be built in the city of Almere.

So what, you might say, but it’s a big deal.

By building the stadium in Almere – a very boring city in the middle of nowhere in Flevoland province – it means that the all-time northern centre of skating, the Frisian city of Heerenveen, will miss out.

When you think of Heerenveen, you automatically think of Thialf as well, the current national ice skating stadium and, according to many, the best skating venue in the world. It has been so since 1892, which is for ever!

World records have been made and broken there, generally by Frisians, because they are the best skaters in the world and because, as you all know, Frisian babies are all born in mid-winter, with tiny ice skates on their feet!

Famous Frisian skaters include Heerenveen-born Sven Kramer, the 2010 Olympic 5,000 metres champion and a 19-time world champion, and Rintje Ritsma – nicknamed ‘The Bear from Lemmer’ – who has also won a load of medals.

The Frisians are furious and Facebook petitions are already up and running. As a result, the committee has decided to postpone its final decision on the stadium for a week. However, the Frisians have already said they don’t care and, according to the provincial council, they will build a new Thialf stadium anyway, with or without the backing of the committee.