Speed Skating Canada & City of Richmond United for 2010

Speed Skating Canada (SSC) and the City of Richmond announced today that Richmond would become “Home of Speed Skating Canada’s Champions” in the lead up to the 2010 Olympic Games.

The Richmond Speed Skating Oval will host the long track speed skating events for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In order to create a home ice advantage, SSC and the City of Richmond will ensure that athletes get to train and compete at the Oval as soon as it opens in 2008 in their preparation for the Olympic Games. The City of Richmond will assist Speed Skating Canada athletes, coaches and partners and ensure they feel welcomed and at home in Richmond, not only during the Olympic Games, but also in the prior years.

"The Richmond Oval will be the premier venue of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and we can't wait to see Canadian athletes win gold right here in Richmond," says Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. "We're delighted to be working so closely with Speed Skating Canada to ensure we own the podium in 2010 and create lasting legacies for sport in Richmond and throughout our entire country."

This partnership is important both for the Richmond community and the Canadian speed skaters, as it aims to bring both groups closer. With all the initiatives that will be put in place in the next three years, the athletes will feel at home in Richmond, and in return, the Richmond community will feel that they belong to the team and that they played a role in its success. The community of Richmond will be there to cheer and encourage the speed skating champions both at the Olympic Winter Games and in the events taking place at the Oval before.

SSC also took the opportunity to launch its 2010 Partners in Excellence Team initiative, that will see a select group of individuals from various sectors become ambassadors of the organization in the lead up to the Olympic Games. “We are proud to launch this initiative and invite Mayor Brodie to be the first member of this team in recognition to this important partnership with the City of Richmond”, explains Jean R. Dupré, Director General of Speed Skating Canada. “Ultimately, these leaders will get to witness first hand the performance of our athletes in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.”

As part of the partnership, SSC will centralise its parents and friends program for the Olympic Winter Games in Richmond, where they will be hosting various activities and receptions for the families and friends of the Canadian and international speed skating communities.