I had some time to kill at the University of Calgary earlier this week. Since it was a hot day, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ice was still on the Olympic Oval. (A lot of arenas don’t keep ice on in the summer months.) I wasn’t planning on skating, so I took the stairs up to the second floor observation gallery rather than paying admission. It was nice and cool up there.
This was my first time inside the Olympic Oval, and it was interesting to note that the long oval speedskating track has two conventional ice rinks inside it. One is marked for hockey, while the other is unmarked and presumably dedicated to figure skating. I didn’t see either of them in use. But even on this summer day, there were speedskaters of all ages and abilities going around the oval, at various degrees of intensity.
After I went back outside, I discovered that there is a self-guided tour of the oval. It starts near the large red sculpture at the north (Collegiate Blvd) entrance to the oval, and then takes you through the building, telling visitors about the construction of the oval and the various works of art there: “Spire” (at the north entrance), “Le Patineur de Vitesse ’84” (near the south entrance), the two “Pagoglyph” windows on the upper level, and the bronze “Brothers of the Wind” frieze near the stairs to the spectator level. The upper (spectator) level of the oval also has a small display on the Speed Skating Canada Hall of Fame.
All in all, not bad for a free attraction on a hot summer day.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.