Some people might think we Canadians are born with skates on. Some would say this is true; many sports to do with skates us Canadians usually excel at, and we owe it to world class facilities like the Olympic Oval for helping us get there.
Apart from being the training site for many professional athletes from home and abroad, the Olympic Oval also has fun activities and events that any John, Jane and the rest of the Doe family can take part in.
Public skates, shinny hockey games and skating / athletic programs for all skill levels are but a few of the awesome family-friendly activities to do at the Olympic Oval. But before we explore those, here’s a brief history on the facility which was built for the 88′ Winter Olympics.
Olympic Oval: A Brief History
What is the Olympic Oval anyways? As the name suggests, it was one of many buildings constructed in the city to host the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.
Construction of the Olympic Oval began back in 1985 around the same time as Canada Olympic Park. It was the first indoor skating oval built in North America.
At the time, the Olympic Oval’s ability to control its indoor climate with precision made for some of the best skating ice in the world.
As a result during the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, 7 world records and 3 Olympic records were broken, giving the Oval the nickname “the fastest ice on Earth”.
Now onto the activities at the Olympic Oval, University of Calgary.
Public skating is always a fun activity, especially indoors where the temperature is moderate and there’s no spine-chilling wind. The Olympic Oval is one of the best places to do that in the city!
It’s also ideal for beginners as there are skating bars available to use for free, but intermediate to advanced skaters will also have their fun with the full length of the oval shaped ice.
The Olympic Oval typically offers over 50 public skating sessions every month, which is great! You’ll have a hard time finding a public skating time that doesn’t fit your schedule one day or another.
A facility that makes for a great skate also makes for an awesome run! Found on the outer rim of the Oval’s interior is a two lane, 450m running track used by many to keep themselves healthy year round.
One of the best things about the public track is the interior temperature of the Oval; it’s a bit cool which makes for a great running temperature. It beats running outside when its 30 degrees, or on the other hand when it’s below freezing!
For the more intense runners, there are days with specific running designations including recreational fitness training, youth running and high performance interval training.
The Olympic Oval is host to a variety of skating programs taught by some of the world’s best skaters. These programs are usually in the summer time when its off-season for amateur hockey players, many of whom are looking to improve their skills.
If your kid is looking to take their game to the next level, you should definitely consider one of these power skating programs. There’s a wide variety of programs to choose from and at different times weekly.
Just in case you don’t have a pair of skates, need a quick sharpen or forgot your hockey tape at home, the Olympic Oval has a skate shop that can help you. If you do need rentals, make sure you bring photo I.D. as it is required to rent out any piece of equipment.
The Skate Shop also has equipment for sale including speed skating gear, protective gear, skin suits and more. Reach them at 403-220-7917 if you would like to know more. There’s even an online shop for you to browse before making a trip down.
For all you fitness buffs out there, the Olympic Oval has a dedicated work out room / full-sized gym with all the weights and machines you’ll need to get a good work out in.
The price of the gym is included in general admission for the Olympic Oval, which is great! Taking your fitness to a whole new level with fitness programs and a gym all in one spot is easy to do at the Oval!
The Oval is host to a number of special events every year such as conventions, car shows and others of the sort, usually in the summer time.
These special events make use of the area where the two hockey rinks and oval skating track are, so they will interrupt any weekly events planned. Make sure to check before you go!
For a full schedule of events be sure to check out the online schedule at the Olympic Oval – University of Calgary website today.
I Love Calgary!
Planning on checking out the Olympic Oval sometime soon? It’s at the University of Calgary Campus, reachable from either 24th or 32nd Avenues NW.
- Address – 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta
- Phone Number – 403-220-7954
- Website – https://oval.ucalgary.ca/
Looking for more activities and events in Calgary? If so, you’ll want to See What the Locals Do in YYC and go from there!