Olympic Oval in action for summer training

By Morgan Haigler

It came as no surprise when the Olympic Oval couldn’t afford to keep its ice this year.

With the economic downturn straining financial resources, it seemed Canada’s speedskaters would need another place to prepare for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.

It’s estimated that $10,000 a day is necessary to operate the Oval and maintain the ice.

Originally, observers anticipated that ice would return sometime in September.

Luckily, in May a funding boost of $530,000 from WinSport Canada, the Own The Podium program and the University of Calgary made it possible for speedskaters to use the Oval during their busy training period in July.

Had there been a further delay, skaters would have had to train in Richmond, B.C., where the 2010 Olympic speedskating competition will take place or possibly in Salt Lake City, the home of the 2002 Winter Games.

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