Oval Construction

Explore 35 Years of Excellence

September 27, 1987 — September 27, 2022

Our Legacy, Our Future

The Olympic Oval is a legacy facility of the 1988 Olympic Games. It is a place where Olympic dreams come true and athletes are put in a position to achieve their personal best. An important and integral part of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Kinesiology; the Oval is a speed-skating facility, a research facility for UCalgary kinesiology scholars, a training facility for varsity athletes and a public facility to serve the University community. 


Our Mission

The Olympic Oval is a world-class speed skating and high performance sports facility dedicated to the pursuit of excellence and health and wellness for all.

Our Vision

Together with our partners, we will drive the mission of Canadian athlete podium performances.

Our Values

Passion, Quality, Honesty, Respect, and Enjoyment. These are the values that represent our team of people and on which The Fastest Ice in the World™ is built.

Canada's Medal Factory

From the establishment of the Olympic Oval in ’88, UCalgary has long been the incubator of elite sport in Calgary. Champions Catriona Le May Doan, Hayley Wickenheiser, and Denny Morrison have all honed their competitive edge here.

The Fastest Ice in the World

With 26 Olympic medalists, 36 Olympic medals, hundreds of Olympians and over 300 World Records, the Oval still holds onto its trademark — The Fastest Ice in the World™.

High Performance Sports at the Olympic Oval

The Olympic Oval was built for the 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games. However, it's more than just a Speed Skating venue — it is also a high-performance training facility for Dinos athletics and non-varsity high-performance sport. 

Long Track Speed Skating

Long track speed skating is considered the fastest human-powered sport in the sport, with skaters reaching speeds of more than 60 km/hr. All long track speed skating events take place on a 400m oval and are timed to the hundredth of a second (0.01).

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Short Track Speed Skating

Short track speed skating takes place on a 111.12m oval which is marked on an international-sized ice rink. The smaller oval means there are tighter turns and shorter straightaways than in long track. There are nine events on the Olympic program.

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Dinos Women's Athletics

Basketball
Field Hockey
Golf
Hockey
Soccer
Swimming
Track & Field
Volleyball
Wrestling

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Dinos' Men's Athletics

Basketball
Football
Golf
Hockey
Rugby
Soccer
Swimming
Track & Field
Volleyball
Wrestling

Learn more

36 Olympic Medals and Counting

The Olympic Oval is Canada's Medal Factory. It is the training home to 26 Olympic Medalists (21 Long Track and 5 Short Track) with a combined take-home of 36 Olympic medals since Calgary's 1988 Winter Olympic Games. No other facility in Canada has this Olympic reputation for high-performance excellence. Athletes qualify for such distinction after training at the Olympic Oval for over one year.

Medal  Year Olympic City Athlete (in Bold) Sport Medal Event
1 1994 Lillehammer, Norway

Susan Auch

Long Track Silver Women's 500m
2 1998 Nagano, Japan

Derrick Campbell, Eric Bedard, François Drolet, and Marc Gagnon

Short Track Gold Men's 5,000m Relay
3 1998 Nagano, Japan

Catriona Le May Doan

Long Track Gold

Women’s 500m

4 1998 Nagano, Japan

Jeremy Wotherspoon

Long Track Silver

Men’s 500m

5 1998 Nagano, Japan

Susan Auch

Long Track Silver

Women’s 500m

6 1998 Nagano, Japan

Tania Vicent, Christine Boudrias, Isabelle Charest, and Annie Perreault

Short Track Bronze

Women’s 3,000m Relay

7 1998 Nagano, Japan

Catriona Le May Doan

Long Track Bronze

Women’s 1,000m

8 1998 Nagano, Japan

Kevin Overland

Long Track Bronze

Men’s 500m

9 2002

Salt Lake City, USA

Catriona Le May Doan

Long Track Gold Women's 500m
10 2002

Salt Lake City, USA

Tania Vicent, Alana Kraus, Isabelle Charest, Marie-Eve Drolet, and Amelie Goulet-Nadon

Short Track Bronze

Women’s 3,000m Relay

11 2002

Salt Lake City, USA

Cindy Klassen

Long Track Bronze Women's 3,000m
12 2002

Salt Lake City, USA

Clara Hughes

Long Track Bronze Women's 5,000m
13 2006

Torino, Italy

Cindy Klassen

Long Track Gold

Women’s 1,500m

14 2006 Torino, Italy

Clara Hughes

Long Track Gold

Women’s 5,000m

15 2006 Torino, Italy

Arne Dankers, Steven Elm, Denny Morrison, Jason Parker, and Justin Warsylewicz

Long Track Silver

Men’s Team Pursuit

16 2006 Torino, ​​​​​​​Italy

Kristina Groves, Clara Hughes, Cindy Klasen, Christine Nesbitt, and Shannon Rempel

Long Track Silver

Women’s Team Pursuit

17 2006 Torino, ​​​​​​​Italy

Cindy Klassen

Long Track Silver

Women’s 1,000m

18 2006 Torino, ​​​​​​​Italy

Alanna Kraus, Tania Vicent, Amanda Overland, Anouk Leblanc- Boucher, and  Kalyna Roberge

Short Track Silver

Women’s 3,000m Relay

19 2006 Torino, ​​​​​​​Italy

Kristina Groves

Long Track Silver

Women’s 1,500m

20 2006 Torino, ​​​​​​​Italy

Cindy Klassen

Long Track Bronze

Women’s 3,000m

21 2006 Torino, ​​​​​​​Italy

Cindy Klassen

Long Track ​​ Bronze

Women’s 5,000m

22 2010 Vancouver, Canada Christine Nesbitt Long Track ​​​​​ Gold

Women’s 1,000m

23 2010 Vancouver, ​​​​​​​Canada

Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky, and  Denny Morrison

Long Track ​​​​​ Gold

Men’s Team Pursuit

24 2010 Vancouver, ​​​​​​​Canada

Kristina Groves

Long Track ​​​​​​ Silver

Women’s 1,500m

25 2010 Vancouver, ​​​​​​​Canada

Jessica Gregg, Tania Vicent, Kalyna Roberge, and  Marianna St-Gelais

Short Track Silver

Women’s 3,000m ​​​​​​​Relay

26 2010 Vancouver, ​​​​​​​Canada

Kristina Groves

Long Track ​​​​​​ Bronze

Women’s 3,000m

27 2010 Vancouver, ​​​​​​​Canada

Clara Hughes

Long Track Bronze

Women’s 5,000m

28 2014 Sochi, Russia

Denny Morrison

Long Track ​​​​​​ Silver

Men’s 1,000m

29 2014 Sochi, Russia

Denny Morrison

Long Track ​​​​​​ Bronze

Men’s 1,500m

30 2018 Pyeongchang, South Korea

Ted-Jan Bloeman

Long Track ​​​​​​ Gold

Men’s 10,000m

31 2018 Pyeongchang, ​​​​​​​South Korea

Ted-Jan Bloeman

Long Track ​​​​​​ Silver

Men’s 5,000m

32 2022 Beijing, China

Ivanie Blondin, Valerie Maltais, and  Isabelle Weidemann

Long Track ​​​​ Gold

Women’s Team Pursuit

33 2022 Beijing, ​​​​​​​China

Isabelle Weidemann

Long Track ​​​​​​ Silver

Women’s 5,000m

34 2022 Beijing, ​​​​​​​China

Isabelle Weidemann

Long Track ​​​​​​ Bronze

Women’s 3,000m

35 2022 Beijing, ​​​​​​​China Laurent Dubreuil Long Track ​​​​​​ Silver Men's 1,000m
36 2022 Beijing, ​​​​​​​China Ivanie Blondin Long Track ​​​​​​ Silver Women's Mass Start

 

Numbers

The Olympic Oval has a rich history of record breaking numbers. See why the Oval continues to generate new personal bests with the stats below.

400,000

Over 400,000 enter the Olympic Oval every year. THat's over 14 million people since our opening in 1987

38,000

Over 38,000 skaters and runners enjoy the Olympic Oval as a destination space for recreational public skating and running — that's just over 1.3 million people in 35 years. 

30,000

Every year, over 30,000 people enjoy major events including World Cups, speed skating competitions, national sporting events, trade shows, car shows, science fairs and expos. 

The average stay is 2.2 nights and the average spend is $368 per day. The total economic impact is over $21.8 million.

40

Over 40 commercials, films and television shoots have been filmed at the Oval.

The Olympic Oval is widely known as The Fastest Ice in the World. We have a friendly rivalry with the Utah Olympic Oval — The Fastest Ice on Earth. World records are repeatedly broken at both locations.

35 Years of Fun Facts

The Olympic Oval is rich with history and fun facts. See how many you know!

  • On September 30, 1981, Calgary won the Olympic Winter Games bid (also bidding in 1964, 1968 and 1972).
     
  • Former Dean of Kinesiology Roger Jackson pushed the idea to have the Oval on the UCalgary campus instead of Canada Olympic Park (formerly Paskapoo).
     
  • The Oval cost $35 million to build and was the first covered speed skating facility in North America.
     
  • The Oval opened its doors on September 27, 1987.
  • The 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games were held February 13-28, 1988.
     
  • The Olympic Oval hosted nine-speed skating events.
     
  • No Canadians won any speed skating medals at these Games.
     
  • Hidy and Howdy were the official Olympic mascots, but Ollie the Penguin became the Oval's mascot in 1989. 
  • The Oval is 150,000 square feet in size.
     
  • The Oval is 85' high x 774' wide.
     
  • The Olympic Oval has 2,500 permanent and 1,400 temporary spectator seats.
     
  • The Oval can seat 3,500 guests with permanent and portable seating.
     
  • The ice is -5°C or -6°C on a given day.
     
  • The Oval ice depth is 1.0" thick.
     
  • The hockey and short track ice is 1.25" thick.
     
  • The large Zamboni uses 400 Gallons of water for every re-surfacing.
     
  • The small Zamboni uses 160 Gallons of water for every re-surfacing.
     
  • The Oval uses 4,300 gallons of water to re-surface all three rinks at the Oval.
     
  • Over 400,000 Calgarians come and go through the Oval every year.
     
  • Nearly 40,000 public skaters enjoy the Oval every year.
     
  • Nearly 600 Varsity athletes train at the Oval every year. 
  • The Olympic Oval has two Olympic-sized rinks (for hockey and short track speed skating) and a 400m Oval rink for long track speed skating.
     
  • In addition to speed skating and hockey rinks, the Oval has a 450-metre, two-lane running track and a 110-metre, eight-lane sprint track.
     
  • The Oval has eight change rooms, a weight room, a skate shop, and rehabilitation and therapy rooms.
  • Every year during Ice-Out (April — June), the Oval hosts major sporting events, including; Volleyball, Judo, Taekwondo, Billiards, Track & Field, Wrestling, and Gymnastics.
     
  • The Oval is also host to numerous car shows, trade shows, science fairs and exhibitions.
     
  • The Oval is also a top filming location in Calgary, with over 40 film and television credits to call our own.
  • The Oval has produced 26-speed skating Olympic medalists with a combined take-home of 36 Olympic medals. No other facility in Canada has such an incredible Olympic reputation garnering the moniker Canada's Medal Factory.
     
  • The Oval has produced over 300 World Records and currently owns three of them with six Junior World Records. Currently, the Utah Olympic Oval (The Fastest Ice on Earth) holds the most. Both Ovals have had a friendly rivalry for the last 20 years. 
     
  • Over the last 35 years, the Oval has employed hundreds of staff and enjoyed thousands of volunteers to ensure our speed skating competitions run without a hitch. 
     
  • The Oval's was trademarked The Fastest Ice in the World in 2001.

The Legacy of the Olympics

The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. To spread these principles is to build up a strong and more valiant and, above all, more scrupulous and more generous humanity.

Pierre de Coubertin

Founder of the modern Olympic Games