Who is this orange lion that takes pictures with all synchro fans?


The Dutch lion, star of the ice rinks. /Credits: Maarten Merkx

Spectators could see him at the last Seniors World Championships in Budapest last April, the orange lion appeared once again in Berlin this weekend, taking pictures with a lot of fans! But who is this funny animal? Discover our « roaring » interview.

Jura Synchro: Hello! You should be the most famous lion in the whole synchro world. How many fans took pictures with you during the Berlin Cup?
Dutch Lion: I think there were made about 100 pictures in 2 days.

Which synchro team are you supporting?
I am supporting Team Ice United from the Netherlands. But I applause for all the teams.

Why are you a lion?
You probably know that all Dutch like orange. The lion is a kind of symbol/mascotte for our country. When Team Ice United tried to qualify for the World Championships, I told the team that if they succeed, I would join them as an orange lion. They did, so I kept my promises.

The costume helps you to stay hot in the ice arena?
My costume helps me to stay hot in the ice arena you said? Well, the temperature in the costume feels like 52 degrees!…


Une photo publiée par Team Ice United (senior) (@teamiceunited) le

Team Ice United had a great competition in Berlin, earning over 90 points.

Behind the costume, who are you?
My daughter is one of the team members. So I am a proud father. Besides our daughter me and my wife have a great son (and our son has a great girlfriend). Next October I will reach the age of 50. I am a real estate manager in retail.

Are you only supporting synchro skaters or can we see you in other sports events?
I started to support the synchro skaters, but in the meantime, I joined an oldtimer event in Fiss-Serfaus-Ladis, Austria, last September. Next October, I will join the opening of the World Cup Alpine Skiing in Soelden, in Austria also. I have promised this to the major of Soelden last October.

Something to add?
I hope to join the team for a long time and have some more great lion moments, probably to start in France, the French Cup, very soon!
Take care, Riko van Kooten

"See you soon!" /Credits: Maarten Merkx