World Champs

Annual Report 2023/2024

The Olympic Oval's Annual Report for the 2023-2024 Season.

Mark Messer

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.

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

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

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.

A Message from Mark Messer — Director of the Olympic Oval

The 2023/2024 season was a collective success for the Olympic Oval. Together, we declared, 'We are Back.' The season was a testament to our shared dedication, with events, competitions, public access, and high-performance training pushing the facility to near capacity. We united to introduce new public events, significantly increasing facility users, and even brought back the World Championships after a 15-year hiatus.

At the beginning of the season, we increased the number of athletes and coaches while introducing a new collaborative team coaching approach to better support athlete needs. As well, we gave out the most ever funding for our athletes through the athlete bursary. The University community continued to utilize us for Active Living programs and research projects, all aimed at keeping people active and healthy.

However, challenges remain. We are still working with others to secure sustainable funding to meet our future needs and immediate renovation needs. We have done extremely well in getting to this point in our history, but now we need to address some urgent requirements to maintain and increase the level of service we are able to provide.

It was also a busy year for our staff, who took it all in stride. A huge thank you to all our staff, who refuse to do "good enough" and always strive to provide the highest-quality experience for all our users.

Our success would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the local, national, and international communities. The Long Track Championships, hosted here this year, saw the highest numbers of spectators since the early 2000s. Public participation numbers soared, as did sales to support our core sports, underscoring the vital role you play in our journey.

To our partners, in sport and commercially, thank you for your continued support and for showing faith in our abilities to promise and deliver. We work well together and look forward to building stronger relationships this year.

Canada's Performance at the ISU World Speed Skating Single Distances Championships

Canada performed exceptionally well, garnering 11 medals between February 15-17, 2024. Over 3,000 spectators convened in Calgary to watch the World Championships on The Fastest Ice in the World.

Feb. 15, 2024

Women's 3,000m
Isabelle Weidemann - 3:58.01

Feb. 15, 2024

Women's Team Sprint
Carolina Hiller, Maddison Pearman, Ivanie Blondin - 1:25.14

Feb. 15, 2024

Men's Team Sprint
Anders Johnson, Laurent Dubreuil, Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu - 1:17.17

Feb. 16, 2024

Women's Team Pursuit
Valerie Maltais, Ivanie Blondin, Isabelle Weidemann - 2:54.03

Feb. 16, 2024

Men's Team Pursuit
Connor Howe, Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu, Hayden Mayeur - 3:36.72

Feb. 16, 2024

Men's 500m
Laurent Dubreuil - 33.95

Feb. 17, 2024

Women Mass Start Final
Ivanoe Blondin - 8:23.81

Feb. 17, 2024

Mass Start Final Women
Ivanie Blondin - 8:23.81

Feb. 17, 2024

Mass Start Final Men
Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu - 8:40.70

Feb. 17, 2024

Men's 10,000m
Ted-Jan Bloemen - 12:47.01

Men's 10,000m
Graeme Fish - 12:48.61

What is an ISU Centre of Excellence?

An ISU CoE is an International Skating Union-recognized skating entity that provides an overall environment of high-quality facilities, skating services, coaching and training activities, research and innovation, servicing high performance and long-term development of Skaters, Coaches, Officials, and experts while engaging with multiple ISU Members.

Pilot Phase

The Olympic Oval is now midway through its designation as a Centre of Excellence. 

Watch more

ISU CoE Internships

The Spanish National Team had seven skaters and one coach training with our Program in October 2023. They participated in our Oktoberfest Classic races, achieving some Personal Bests and a couple of National Records.

ISU Visiting Coach Initiative

Jonathan Guilmette went to Bogota, Columbia for a Seminar: Technics on Ice Skating vs Technics with Inline Skating. The seminar targeted inline athletes and coaches looking to learn more about Speed Skating on ice.


We participated in and contributed to the annual ISU CoE workshop held in Bangkok, Thailand, in June 2024, as well as the ongoing online meetings with the other Centres of Excellence.

Learn about each department in the Olympic Oval during the 2023/2024 season - Operations, Partner Development and Guest Relations, High-Performance Programs, Innovation, and Competitions and Sales.


Operations was able to work on several maintenance projects throughout the year including a significant compressor replacement project. 

Washroom Upgrades

The ice-level, men's and women's 3rd level washrooms were converted and upgraded. Additionally, a gender neutral washroom was added.

New Zamboni

A new Model 700 Zamboni was delivered. Our previous 700 Zamboni was provided to the Winnipeg Outdoor speed skating oval.

Software Upgrade

The Oval's building management software upgrade was completed. This was necessary to meet necessary software upgrade requirements for the University.


Justin Murphy was asked to return to the Beijing Olympic Oval to assist with the ISU World Cup. Furthermore, we continue to support staff development. Multiple ice makers participated in AARFP industry courses.

Key Community Events

Ice-Out Events

The Oval's non-speed skating events reached new heights with over 30,000 guests in attendance during the season. The 2023 Volleyball Canada Nationals welcomed over 10,000 athletes and spectators over 10 days making it the busiest event of the season.

2023 Volleyball Canada Nationals

2023 Driven Aftermarket Car Show

2023 Calgary Bike Swap

Olympic Oval in the News

During the 2023/2024 season, media outlets covered or wrote 86 stories about the Olympic Oval, speed skating, our athletes, recreational public skating, World Cups, and special events held during the season. It was another spectacular news cycle of coverage.

Siksika Nation students get tour of Olympic Oval

A group of students got a private tour with a Team Canada speed skater Thursday. Stephanie Thomas reports.

Watch video

Calgary's cooler days are still off a ways

CTV News covers the Olympic Oval in a 'Beat the Heat' story.

Watch video

Some big skates to fill: What to do when your mom is an Olympian

Some big skates to fill: What to do when your mom is an Olympian: Nineteen-year-old Yankun Zhao's mother coached Clara Hughes and Cindy Klassen. No pressure.

Listen to the story

Donation to cover training fees surprises Olympic Oval speedskater

Student-athlete Rachel Mallard benefits from new financial initiative created by Olympian Vincent De Haître.

Read the story

Olympic Oval pivots holiday market to give UCalgary entrepreneurs a new venue

Read the UToday story by David Vink covering the Oval's first-ever Holiday Market & Skate.

Read the story

Prince George’s Carolina Hiller becomes world champion

Olympic Oval-based Carolina Hiller flew through the long-track speedskating season, breaking her 500m personal best and smashing the team sprint national record to help her team take gold at the world championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands, in early March.

Read the story

Marketing Stats

The Olympic Oval continues developing and improving its web and social media presence and YouTube streaming content. The 2023/2024 season increased viewership on all fronts. The Oval works alongside the Faculty of Kinesiology, Active Living, and the Outdoor Centre to enhance its social media content, subscriptions, and website engagement.

Social Stats

  • Instagram: 2,963 followers
  • Twitter: 3,033 followers
  • Facebook: 3,800 followers
  • YouTube: 3,770 subscribers

Website Stats

  • 551,710 page views (an increase of 40% from 2022)
  • 134,387 new users

Admission Sales

  • 36,277 public skating admissions
  • 1,465 public running admissions
  • 359 season passes sold
  • 12,349 skate rentals


  • 550,000 recorded entries
  • 50,000 unique users
  • 55% of guests from Calgary (25% bedroom communities)
  • 65% of guests from Calgary's NW, 20% SW, 10% NE and 5% SE

Recreational Public Skating

An increase of 12% in recreational public skating admissions totalling 36,277.
A New Oval Record!

Recreational Public Running

An increase of 12% in recreational public skating admissions totalling 1,465.
A New Oval Record!

Season Passes

An increase of 24% in recreational public skating season passes totalling 359.
A New Oval Record!

Skate Rentals

An increase of 17% in recreational public skating skate rentals.

Elite Athlete Pathway

This season, the Oval's Elite Athlete Pathway featured 75 long track athletes and 34 short track athletes for a total of 109 athletes >> an increase of 17% from last season.

Elite Athlete Pathway

Elite Athlete Pathway Coaches

The Olympic Oval employs three short track coaches and five long track coaches.

Oval Bursary

Since its inception in 2005, the Oval Athlete Bursary Fund has supported over 150 athletes with over $300,000 supporting their quest for excellence. 

Learn more

Summer Camps

The Olympic Oval hosted two summer camps, the Masters Speed and Summer Speed during the summer of 2023. These summer camps are an opportunity for kids and adults who want to experience high performance in a world-class facility to further their speed skating skills goals.

Elite Athlete Pathway

The Olympic Oval has been operating since 1989. It was previously called the Oval Program, but the name evolved to fit the Pathway model. For the 2023/2024 season, the Elite Athlete Pathway had 109 full-time athletes, of which 34 were short track athletes, and 75 were long track athletes. Our athletes come from all across Canada to train at the Olympic Oval. In addition, we had eight international athletes from Norway, the Netherlands, China, USA, Chinese Taipei, Great Britain, Japan, and Russia.

  • Aaralyn McGill
  • Cody Miller
  • Charlotte Sernoski
  • Ryan Bolton
  • Alex Giannotti
  • Sherise Gratton
  • Annabelle Green
  • Mikka Eaves
  • David Seal
  • Max Poulin
  • Braeden Picek
  • Owen Currie
  • Ryan St.Rose
  • Barnett Liu
  • Sam Green
  • Erik Haaheim
  • Calla Haaheim
  • Ben Ward
  • Caleb van der Merwe
  • Jack Van den Berg
  • Paul Philip
  • Astor Chloe
  • Cameron Mattias
  • Daniels Prabhnoor
  • Grewal Nicole Law
  • Zakhary Adelman
  • Maxine Volstad
  • Osa Chomiak
  • Luke Dizon
  • Kairo Tae
  • Finn Borstmayer
  • Akutaq Williamson Bathory
  • William Diaz Berthiaume
  • Robyn Salie
  • Sophia Dvorak
  • Braeden Kremenik
  • Daria Vogt 
  • Brock Gilbert
  • Aoife Marshall
  • Nate (Joshua) Suthlerand
  • Ella Cloutier
  • Chandra Mouli Danda
  • Beth Smith
  • Adam Buchwald
  • Brielle Durham
  • Stephan Lee
  • Liam McKague
  • Blanche (Bee) Cardinal Tremblay
  • Hannah North
  • Jersey Chytla
  • Ben Routledge
  • Maya Lueders
  • Erik Angelozzi
  • Matthew Mitchell
  • Andrew Binns
  • Elise Prpich
  • Connor Waters
  • Isabelle Champagne
  • Jack Hanson
  • Serena Dallaire
  • Tatiana de Vlieg
  • Ian McPeek
  • Ranya Ezzi
  • Jia-Sheng Lai
  • Sebastian Champagne
  • Denis Belianin
  • Caitlin Pelkey
  • Jenna Larter
  • Matthew Medlicott
  • Victoria Goplen
  • Joel Simpson
  • Chris Holmstead
  • Molly Johnson
  • Darby Beeson
  • Zach Lacroix
  • Andre Erasmus
  • Wei Lin Tai
  • Nicholas Guliov
  • Ryan Gibson
  • Daniel Pauli
  • Keagan Waddington
  • Bon Lowe
  • Jack Diebert
  • Luca Veeman
  • Kiersten Hagen
  • Qi Yin
  • Matt Laxton
  • Rachel Mallard
  • Claire Mallard
  • Joshua Hathaway
  • Emil Hodzic-Santor
  • Matej Pederson
  • Ryan Kulbacki
  • Hobbes Holzer
  • Kieran Hanson
  • Emma Langstrom
  • Hayleigh Bell
  • Sofia Bieber
  • Heather Carruthers
  • Carolina Hiller
  • Vince De Haitre
  • Daniel Hall
  • Jalen Doan
  • Ying-Chu Chen
  • Fergus English
  • Short Track; Elizabeth Ward and Patrick Duffy
  • Long Track Stage 2 Allround; Phil Riopel
  • Long Track Stage 2-3 Mid and Long Distance; Cristina Lazarescu
  • Long Track Stage 2-3 Sprint and Mid Distance; Kevin Crockett
  • Long Track Stage 3 Mid and Long Distance; Todd McClements
  • Long Track Stage 3 Sprint and Mid Distance; Mike Ireland.
  • Max Halyk
  • Claire Mallard
  • Mikka Eaves
  • Darby Beeson
  • Max Poulin
  • Marc Andre Doyon
  • Yankun Zhao
  • Jenna Larter
  • Owen Currie
  • Luca Veeman
  • Adam Buchwald
  • Joel Simpson.

Short Track Season Highlights

The short track season proved to be exceptional. Here are a few highlights:

Aaralyn McGill qualified for the 2024/2025 NextGen team, earning 4 bronze medals and finished 3rd overall at the Junior Canadian championships. She also participated in all three Junior world cups and the Junior world championships for Short Track.

Annabelle Green placed 9th at the Canadian Championships in September and qualified for the Four Continents Championships. She withdrew from the competition as she made the decision to represent her fathers home country of Great Britain. She participated in her first world cups in February and placed 11th in the 500m at World Cup in Dresden, Germany.

Max Poulin qualified for Junior World Cups 1-3 after placing 4th overall at the Junior Canadian Championships, winning gold in the 1500 (2) and silver in the 1500 (1). He won a bronze medal in the relay at the Junior World Cup 3 in the Netherlands. He also qualified for the Junior World Championship in Long Track, winning gold in the team pursuit, silver in the team sprint, and 8th in the 1000m.

Mikka Eaves won silver in the 1000m at the Junior Canadian Championships and placed 5th overall, being named as the first alternate for the Junior World Championships team, as Ryan St. Rose won silver in the 500m at the Junior Canadian Championships.

Long Track Season Highlights

The long track season also provided exceptional results for long track athletes. Here are a few highlights:


Jalen Doan won the Bronze in the 500m and 1000m.

  •    Daniel Hall, Luca Veeman, and Max Poulin won Gold in the Men’s Team Pursuit
  •    Daniel Hall won Silver in the Men's Mass Start
  •    Jalen Doan, Luca Veeman, and Max Poulin won Silver in the Men’s Team Sprint
  •    Julia Snelgrove won Bronze in the Women’s Team Sprint

Yin Qi won Gold in the women's 1000m Silver 1500m and Women’s Mass Start as well as Bronze Team Pursuit.

Carolina Hiller: Gold in the Women’s 500m and Silver in the Womens’s 1000m

Jenna Larter: Silver in the Women’s 500m

Darby Beeson: Silver in the Women’s Mass Start

Vincent De Haitre: Bronze in the Men’s 1000m


Heather Carruthers: Gold in the Women’s 500m

Jenna Larter: Bronze in the Women’s 500m

Vincent De Haitre: Gold in the Men’s 1500m and Silver in the Men’s 1000m

Ryan Kulbacki: Silver in the Men’s 1000m

Daniel Hall: Bronze in the Men’s 10000m


Lina Hiller: 2 X Gold in the Women’s 500m

Jenna Larter: Bronze in the Women’s 500

Daniel Hall: Silver in the Mens 5000m and Silver in the Men’s 10000m

Jalen Doan: Bronze in the Men’s 1000m and Silver in the Men’s 1000m

Frank Roth: Bronze in the Men’s 500m

Luca Veeman: Silver in the Men’s 1500m

Ryan Kulbacki: Bronze in the Men’s 1500m


  • Julia Snelgrove and Daniel Hall named Canadian Junior Champions
  • Sofia Bieber: Silver in the Women's 500m
  • Max Poulin: Silver in the Men's 1000m
  • Jalen Doan: Bronze in the Men's 1000m

Octoberfest Day 1

Western Elite Circuit 3

Winter Classic


Several new advancements were implemented at the Oval including;

  • Video competition timing system implementation
  • Training timing system enhancements
  • Enhancements to video replay system
  • Technical advisor to further CSIS developments


The Oval hosted 26 competitions during the 2023/2024 season. These competitions included six short track (two national, three international, and one regional), ten long track competitions (two World Cups, two Canada Cups and six international), the International Masters Sprint Games and seven time trials.

Skate Shop

The 2023/2024 season generated the highest-ever gross retail sales for the Skate Shop, and a very busy year for rentals and services:

  • 3,091 skates sharpened 
  • 12,349 skate rentals
  • 7,497 helmet rentals


Volunteers continue to be the heart of Oval competitions. 62 volunteers contributed 3,683 hours, commitment and energy to the season. 

Our volunteers are the heart of the Oval — without their support and volunteer hours, we would be unable to run competitions.

26 Competitions

The Oval hosted 25 competitions during the 2023/2024 season. These competitions included eight short track (Canadian Junior and Neo Junior Short Track Championships, three international, two regional, and one local), twelve long track competitions (2024 World Speed Skating Championships, 2023 Canadian Long Track Championships, Canada Cup Final, Special Olympics Canada Winter Games, seven international, and one regional competition), and five time trials.

ISU World Speed Skating Championships

The Olympic Oval was chosen as the host venue for 2024 ISU World Speed Skating Championships Feb 15-18, 2024.

The ISU World Speed Skating Championships is the premier long track speed skating competition in non-Olympic seasons. The winners of each distance are crowned as World Champions.  Events raced were the 500m,1000m,1500m, 3000m(women), 5000m, 10000m(men), team pursuit, mass start, and team sprint.  This was the first time in 25 years that the Olympic Oval was host these championships.


2023 Canadian Long Track Championships

The 2023 Canadian Long Track Championships featured the country’s top long track speed skaters and crowned national champions in each individual distance. The results from this event were used to select the skaters who represented Canada at the Fall World Cups.


2023 Canadian Junior and Neo Junior Short Track Championships

The 2023 Canadian Junior and Neo Junior Short Track Championships featured the country’s top junior and neo junior short track speed skaters.  Junior athletes competed to represent Canada at ISU Junior World Cups and Championships.


2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games

The Olympic Oval was proud to host the short track speed skating events for the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games. We were honored to welcome competing athletes from across the country taking part in this tremendous multi-sport event. 


Classic Series

The Olympic Oval Classic Series is designed to create fun and meaningful racing opportunities across multiple age categories throughout an entire competition season. The Classic Series utilizes a point system to award the winners of each event and the top 3 overall from the best-combined results from the four events in the Classic Series. A leaderboard of each category and distance was updated throughout the season. All 4 of these events are listed on the ISU Calendar.


Skate-Tec Western Elite Circuit

The Skate-Tec Western Elite Circuit is a short track competition circuit focused on developing young speed skaters. It provides challenging opportunities for skaters to develop tactical awareness and execute learned skills. The circuit offers a fun racing atmosphere and is an introduction for most skaters to the high-performance competition stream.


The 2023/2024 Season

The Dinos made headlines throughout the 2023/2024 season. Have a look below at some select stories.

Dinos Swimming

Repeat! Dinos bring home record 22nd Canada West Championship.

Learn more

Dinos Wrestling

Dinos raise Canada West title at home.

Learn more

Dinos Women's Hockey

Kollman nets game winner as Dinos take Crowchild Classic.

Learn more

Dinos Track & Field

MacDonald, Vanderzee named Dinos Athletes of the Year.

Learn more

Olympic Oval Staff List 2023/2024

  • Mark Messer, Director, Olympic Oval
  • Kerry Dankers, Business Operations Manager (— January, 2024)
  • Robert Porter, Manager, Partner Development & Guest Relations 
  • Sean Ireland, Manager, Innovation, Comp & Sales
  • Jonathan Guilmette, Manager, High-Performance Sport
  • Luke Janetzki, Manager, Operations 
  • Suma Joshua, Business Operations Coordinator
  • Braeden Elliot, Skate Shop Senior Technician
  • John Little, Competitions Technical Systems Specialist
  • Dustin Miller, Team Lead Competitions
  • James Monson, Skate Shop Coordinator
  • Gregg Planert, High-Performance Competitions Coordinator
  • Jesse Slusar, Senior Skate Shop Technician
  • Ray Cornez, Facility Operations Support
  • Brad Kowal, Facility Operations Support
  • Jenny Li, Caretaker
  • Cameron McLeod, Team Lead Operations
  • Justin Murphy, Facility Operations Support
  • Crispin Parkinson, Team Lead Facility Operations
  • Eva Sy, Caretaker
  • Dustin Wandler, Facility Operations Support
  • Zach Wheatly, Facility Operations Support
  • Gary Wright, Caretaker
  • Evan Whight, Coordinator, Power Engineering
  • Daniel Xu, Caretaker
  • John Yallop, Caretaker
  • Andy Yardy, Facility Operations Support
  • Katie de Boer, Marketing & Corporate Events Specialist
  • Stephanie Griffiths, Team Lead Sport Partners and Guest Relations (— March, 2024)
  • Arianne Messer, Guest Relations Supervisor
  • Ivonne Vargas, Guest Relations Specialist
  • David Vink, Advisor, Marketing & Partner Development (— September, 2023)
  • Lilly Weidemann, Guest Relations Representative
  • Kevin Crockett, Long Track Coach
  • Mike Ireland, Long Track Coach
  • Cristina Lazarescu, Long and Short Track Coach
  • Todd McClements, Long Track Coach
  • Stacey Polet, Elite Athlete Pathway Coordinator
  • Phil Riopel, Long Track Coach
  • Patrick Duffy, Short Track Coach
  • Elizabeth Ward, Short Track Coach

Contact Us

We want to hear from you!

Mailing Address

Olympic Oval
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, AB
T2N 1N4

Courier Address
288 Collegiate Blvd. NW

Telephone and Email

Main: (403) 220-7954

Skate Shop: (403) 220-7917

Email us

Social Media

Facebook @theolympicoval
Instagram @theolympicoval
Twitter @theolympicoval

Are you Alumni?

For the last 38 years, the Oval has been home to many of Canada's elite skating athletes. All of them we are proud to call a part of our Oval Family! We are compiling a database of Olympic Oval Alumni. If you are interested in being added to this database please fill in this form.


The 2023-2024 season was another spectacular season for our athletes, staff, volunteers and guests. After 37 years, the Oval continues to break records for what a legacy Olympic facility can truly be.

Mark Messer

Mark Messer

Director, Olympic Oval