Netherlands has issued a stamp on the 50th anniversary of the legendary Eleven Cities speed skating tour won by Reinier Paping, Dutch speedskater. The design of this version of the new \’square\’ Personal Stamp was made by Ingmar Birza. \”It is 50 years ago that Reinier Paping won the Eleven Cities Tour. I have made a selection from photographs from various archives. This one was the eventual choice: a beautiful shot of Paping skating under a bridge in Witmarsum.\”
The Eleven Cities Tour is a 200-kilometre skating tour along eleven cities in the province of Friesland, which has been organised since 1909 by the Royal Association of the Eleven Frisian Cities. In over one hundred years, the event took place fifteen times. Reinier Paping, born in Dedemsvaart in 1931, was the fastest. It had taken the gym teacher 10 hours and 59 minutes to complete the tour, 22 minutes ahead of the runner-up. In the year 2000, viewers of the Dutch TV sports programme Studio Sport voted Reinier Paping the individual sports person who had put up the most impressive sports performance of the twentieth century.