- Title: Skating is a frosty love affair for elderly Hungarians
- Date: 6th January 2017
- Summary: VARIOUS OF WOMAN SHOWING OLD MAGAZINE WITH PHOTOS OF FAMOUS ICE DANCERS INCLUDING HER MOTHER OLD PHOTOS IN MAGAZINE
- Embargoed: 21st January 2017 15:15
- Keywords: ice-skating Hungary elderly
- Location: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- City: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- Country: Hungary
- Topics: Living/Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0025XY06RD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In sub-zero temperatures, dozens of Hungarian elderly people take to Budapest's beautiful City Park Ice Rink on their skates each morning to perform ice dancing, which keeps them fit and in good spirits.
The history of the ice dancers' group dates back to the 1950s. It includes former professionals as well as enthusiastic amateurs, who come together on one of the oldest and largest ice rinks in Europe, built in the 19th century.
"This keeps me in good shape as it makes me move every muscle," 70-year-old Marta Patai said.
She started professional figure skating as a child but gave it up as her ankle was too weak, only to pick it up 50 years later when she retired.
Her ice skating partner is Laszlo Gombos, 70, who started ice dancing after he recovered from prostate cancer.
"To get over this, I thought I could perhaps disconnect this way ... as this is what I really love doing, so I decided to do ice dancing," he said. In each of the past 17 years he has learned a new dance, and he the pair skate twice a week even in summer, when they visit a covered ice rink.
The skating keeps the seniors both physically and mentally fit, improving their balance and providing a social hub.
"For me this means everything, it means my life. I am not joking. After recovering from life-threatening illnesses my first trip led here," said Judit Bartfai, 73, who used to be a ballet dancer and a professional ice dancer in the Hungarian ice revue from 1959 to 1981.
The head of the ice rink Laszlo Barta said the older skaters were inspiring to young people in Budapest.
"It is good to see that it is possible to live a sporty life in old age and move the way they do, this sets an example for many young people."
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Video restrictions: parts of this video may require additional clearances. Please see ‘Business Notes’ for more information.