Speed Skating activities to unite families, friends & fans

With the eyes of the nation focused on Richmond and Vancouver, Speed Skating Canada (SSC) has developed unique opportunities for family, friends and speed skating fans to participate in the Olympic experience. A leader on and off the ice, SSC wants to ensure that through the development of Speed Skating Canada House (SSC House) and the presentation of numerous events and activities under the Inuksuk Initiatives, the speed skating community and the public at large will be able share their passion for the sport.

SSC House will be the “home away from home” for the family, friends and supporters of our speed skating Olympians. It is a unique initiative taken on by the amateur sports organization. Located at the John MS Lecky UBC Boathouse, SSC House will serve as a meeting place for athletes and their families. The facility will provide a variety of team hospitality services and will play host to a number of special events.

“This is the third Olympics we’ve developed Speed Skating Canada House,” says Jean R. Dupré, Director General of Speed Skating Canada. "We want to make sure the athletes and their families can live a great Olympic experience without placing additional worries on the athletes. We figure if we can take care of everything around the family and friends’ needs, then our athletes can focus on their performance on the ice.”

The hospitality pavilion will also host daily coverage of Olympic and speed skating events as well as special events such as the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast on February 15th. The event, hosted by Speed Skating Canada, gives a special thanks to the dedicated volunteers who help make the sport of speed skating such a success. It is open to all volunteers accreddited to a speed skating venue (short and long track), running from 7:30am to 11:00am.

Speed skating enthusiasts will be able to view an exhibit titled “The Great Canadian Skate”. The exhibit on display at the Richmond City Hall will showcase a collection of antique skates worn throughout the generations, and outline the different aspects of the sport. An art exhibit will also be on display, a collection of Canadian artists who have created pieces that showcase the dynamics, power and elegance of speed skating. Local artists, including Joyce Kamikura, Larry Tillyer, Katharine Dickinson and David McHolm, will be featured in this unique exhibit. This is the biggest collection of Canadian speed skating art ever produced in our country. The exhibit will be open to the public free of charge from February 12th to February 28th.

True speed skating fans can visit the Speed Skating Canada Boutique to purchase official SSC Olympic clothing, pins and accessories. Many of the casual and active wear items were specially designed by the Hudson’s Bay Company, official sponsor of Speed Skating Canada and Vancouver 2010. The boutique is located on the third floor at the Aberdeen Centre and will be open daily during the Games from 11am to 9pm.

A giant five-meter tall Inuksuk statue has been built and donated to SSC. Located just besides SSC House, the unique Inuksuk will be watching over our long and short track Olympic Teams for the duration of their Olympic Journey. On February 25th at noon, an auction will take place here at SSC House to sell the Inuksuk along with all the original art paintings and many items that have been used by SSC to host the Games. This auction will include a number of new Plasma and LCD televisions, couches, and a 10x20 feet Canadian flag signed by our Olympic team athletes. All proceeds will go to the SSC Inuksuk Legacy Fund, designed to ensure the sustainability of development programs to support Canada’s next generations of Olympic speed skaters.

For a more detailed list of activities and events scheduled by Speed Skating Canada, as well as a blog by SSC President Marie-Claire Rouleau, please visit http://inuksuk.speedskating.ca/

Fans can also follow all of our activities on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/SSCHouse

For more information :
Roch Pilon, SSC House Media Attaché
media@speedskating.ca

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada is the national governing body responsible for the advancement and growth of speed skating in Canada. Its core purpose is to support high performance excellence at the international level and provide leadership in developmental programs. With 140 skating clubs in 13 provinces & territories, Speed Skating Canada is dedicated to providing skating programs for every skill level in Canada.
Speed Skating Canada is a not for profit, charitable organization operating under a Policy Governance Model with an elected board of directors.