The ice area is fairly large – about 700 square meters. It is located in the territory of the city park, that is still popularly referred to as the pioneer park.
But the ice rink has caused real raptures.
The rink is operating from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., it can withstand the temperature up to +100C. Many people come here, though mostly in the evenings, from 5-6 p.m., after the school or work. A few of them can skate, but many are eager to learn it. At least, there is no problem with skates. There is a skate rental here, where skates can be taken for RUB 50 per hour [about US$ 0,80], and there are all sizes available.
The skating rink was constructed on the funds provided by Vladikavkaz (North Osssetia, Alania) municipal administration. Under the contract with Tskhinval Mayor’s Office, Tskhinval can use the skating rink free of charge the first half year. Afterwards it will either become fee-based or South Ossetia will have to buy it out.
The local journalists all together wrote that this ice rink was the first one, that there had never been any skating rink in Tskhinval before. But it turned out not quite so.
Olga Mikhailidi, Tskhinval resident, says:
“My mother, who was born in 1930, says that there was a skating rink in the big city park, in Tskhinval. In 1960, there was a pond in the place where there is an observation wheel now. The pond froze in winter and the upper grade students went there, shoveled it from snow and smoothed the ice surface. People used to skate there and play hockey. The skates were very primitive at that time-special twisted blades were tied to the boots with a rope and then the rope was tightened with a stick, so that it wouldn’t loosen.
Those twisted blades were made by juvenile delinquents, serving their sentence in Tskhinval-based penal correctional facility. It was a kind of cooperation of one group of youngsters with another.
There was also a small ski track in the park.
I was born in 1974 and I remember since childhood the skates that were hanging on a string on the nail in the corner of our cellar. My mother said, those skates belong to Borya, a son of my mother’s sister. He was 10 years older than me, but I don’t remember anyone using them. So, they were hanging there, until they got rusty and were thrown away.”
And some more recollections from Ofelia Kumaritova, Tskhinval resident:
“Evgenia, my elder sister, was 10 years older than me. I remember well, how that generation was indulged in skiing. Ski competitions between the schools were often held then. Sometime I took my sister’s skis and tried to ski in the backyard. My sister scolded me for that.
Whereas my son, who was born in 1970, is a representative of the generation that was fond of playing hockey. There were plenty of neighborhood hockey teams at that time. Then, this generation has grown up and either their enthusiasm has gone or the climate has changed, but the hockey is no longer played in Tskhinval.”
The opinions, expressed in the article, reproduce the author’s terminology and views and not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial staff