Ice returns to Calgary's Olympic Oval after 8-month absence

·2 min read
The ice at the Olympic Oval has returned after an 8-month absence. (Terri Trembath/CBC - image credit)
The ice at the Olympic Oval has returned after an 8-month absence. (Terri Trembath/CBC - image credit)

Ice is returning to Calgary's Olympic Oval, which has been without it since a mechanical failure in September.

"We've been way overdue for this," said Mark Messer, the head of operations at the facility, which serves as a training ground for speed skaters.

"I mean, this is what we're here for."

Eight months ago, the facility's chiller failed, leaving speed skaters in the lurch due to the inability to travel outside of the country to train at other venues.

While many elite-level speed skaters left to train in B.C., the oval was transformed for athletes to use as an inline skating surface.

Olympic Oval director Peter McCrory says it will good to get back to as normal of a season as possible, for all users, now that the ice is back.

Olympic Oval director Peter McCrory says it will good to get back to normal now that ice is back at the facility, 8 months after a chiller failed.
Olympic Oval director Peter McCrory says it will good to get back to normal now that ice is back at the facility, 8 months after a chiller failed.(Terri Trembath/CBC)

"We're optimistic that we can see a return to the three broad community groups that we like to have in the Oval and that we're obliged to have in the Oval," he said.

"They are the public skating community at large, the learn-to programs, the varsity athletes and our partners in Speed Skating Canada and our national teams."

The Olympic Oval is creeping up on its 35th year, and this latest breakdown cost nearly $1 million to fix.

More maintenance costs are expected as the facility continues to age.

"We're hopeful we can look for an additional investment to upgrade the whole of the refrigeration system and slabs at some point in the future," said McCrory.

An official unveiling event is set to take place June 11.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting