Skating for fun, skating for hours

By Mike Hallman

The Olympic Oval’s Finale is once again upon us. Finale is, as the name denotes, the final competition of the year at the Oval.

“Finale’s a great event, it’s a lot of fun,” said Oval Volunteer Coordinator Kathy Baker.

Athletes from all over the world–or at least the parts with snow–come to participate in Finale and enjoy themselves.

The atmosphere is more of a party than a competition.

“Pretty sweet, the atmosphere… there’s no pressure, just skating for the sake of skating,” said Cailean Duggan, a member of the Canadian national team.

The reason there is no pressure is that Finale is not an International Skating Union ranking event, it is strictly for fun.

Among the highlights will be the world record attempt of Dutch skater Henke Angenent, who will try to break the record for distance skated in one hour. To break the record, Angenent will have to keep a pace of approximately 35 seconds per lap for one hour. The record attempt will be held Fri., Mar. 12 at 10 a.m.

After Finale is over meltdown will commence at the Oval. The ice will be taken out in order to perform maintenance and renovations on the facility. The roof will be repaired, and a new air-conditioner will be installed.

Finale runs Mar. 10-15.

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