Lenin the skilled ice-skater

Along with swimming in whatever pool of near-frozen water he could find, cycling as often and as far as he could, hiking for weeks on end through the mountains, Lenin was an accomplished ice-skater. When they were in Siberia, in Shushenkoye courtesy of the tsar, Krupskaya comments that they would clear a space on the frozen river and set out:

A pair of Mercury skates was sent to Volodya as a gift from Krasnoyarsk and on these you can cut figures and do all sorts of tricks

Volodya learned a lot of figures … and he now amazes the Shushenskoye public with his ‘giant steps’ and ‘Spanish leaps’ (Collected Works, vol. 37, pp. 574, 576).

Somehow, the thought of the future leader of the Russian Revolution cutting figures, pirouetting and leaping about on the ice is rather appealing.


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