2015 Canada Games outdoor oval ice in good shape

Despite rain and above freezing temperatures on Thursday, Speed Skating Canada remains confident that the outdoor oval is in good shape and will host long track competition as scheduled during the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C.

“We have an excellent base of ice,” said SSC’s technical representative Christina Chénard.

“It’s really thick and it’s well maintained. There’s a bit of water on top of it because it’s raining. All we need is for the temperatures to come below zero at night which the forecast is saying is in our favour.
“Our wonderful ice crew will be able to go out and get it built back up. The lines are in great condition and we’re excited to skate here in Prince George.”

Long track speed skating is scheduled to get underway in Prince George on Saturday, Feb. 14.

Because of the rain that fell in Prince George on Thursday, practice was cancelled for Friday, Feb. 13, Chénard said.

Sixty-three skaters from across the country began arriving in Prince George on Thursday. Long track competition is scheduled for Feb. 14, 15, 17 and 18 with practice days on the 13th and 16th.

There are two extra days in place for Feb. 19-20 in case of weather issues.

 “There will be racing here in Prince George,” Chénard said.

“The weather is in our favour. The crew has been working all winter to build up the base of ice. There may be some changes to the schedule to ensure they have the best possible ice, but we will be racing here in Prince George.”

On the schedule for Day 1 in long track speed skating is the men’s 3000 and women’s 1500m beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14.

The short track speed skating is scheduled to begin Sunday, Feb. 15 at the Lakewood Dental Arena at CN Centre with the 500m and team pursuits. Competitors will practice Friday and Saturday.