Olympic Oval Legacy

Building a Legacy

The Olympic Oval was designed as the first covered speed skating oval in North America, and as the first to be used at a Winter Olympics.

Construction of The Oval began in 1985, nearly four years after Calgary had been designated host of the XV Olympic Winter Games. The project took just under two and a half years to complete and on September 27, 1987 the Oval officially opened it doors!


  • Footprint: 26000 sq. metres
  • 400 Metre Oval Ice Surface
  • 2 International sized Ice Surfaces
  • 12000 Roof panels
  • 25.91 metres high
  • 160000 rivets pulled out and replaced after 1988 - each painted by hand
  • Seating capacity 1988: 6500
  • Seating capacity 2018: 3577

1988 Winter Olympics

In 1988, the City of Calgary played host to the XV Olympic Winter Games from February 13-28. Most of the events took place in buildings and venues we now know as Legacy facilities in Calgary. This includes the Olympic Oval, parts of the UCalgary campus (which was used for training and as the Athlete's Villege), Canada Olympic Park and Olympic Plaza.

The Fastest Ice in the World™

The Olympic Oval is hallowed ground. It is the Home to the Fastest Ice in the World™. One of only four covered 400m rinks in North America, over 300 world records have been set at the Oval in both long and short track speed skating since opening day in 1987. Elite ice technicians and staff continue to take their services internationally as consultants, bringing the Fastest Ice in the World to World Championships, Olympic Games and elite competition all around the globe.

Brothers of The Wind

The Brothers of the Wind bronze frieze one of Canadian Robert Tait McKenzie's finest and largest works of art.  The sculpture was completed in 1925 but purchased for the Oval where it currently resides in the front lobby.  Replicas of this piece are used for both the ceremonial ring which is presented to athletes who set a world record at the Oval and Brothers of the Wind pins which are given to athletes who set new national records at the Oval.

Are you a part of our #OvalFamily? Be sure to check out the Oval Alumni page and update your contact information.