If the chatter surrounding recent results from speed skating, pairs figure skating or the entire history of hockey is to be believed, then a little adversity in the form of cold, hard outdoor ice just might be the secret ingredient in Olympic Glory. Possibly the best thing we can do for winter sport in this country is grab the nearest child we are legally permitted to guard and take places and head on down to our local outdoor rink for some good old fashioned, de-sissyfied skating.
Don’t get us wrong. We were raised in arenas just like the rest of Canada. We’ve inhaled our share of Zamboni fumes. But it stands to reason that with so many kilometres of external skateable surface spanning the country, then following this highly scientific logic, we should be able to produce an additional five medals in Vancouver, 2010 in figure skating alone.
When offered a choice, we prefer the rink at Harbourfront Centre. Not only is the view spectacular (Day: the lake, Night: the skyline), not only is it free, not only is it open ’till 11pm on weekends, it just may be the only rink in the city large enough to skate all-out and get a full workout in. Hockey is always off limits and in the evenings, there aren’t even kamikaze toddlers around to throw themselves at our feet.
Not feeling tough? Sick of the Olympics? Fear not. The milder spring skating season shall soon be upon us. (Unless it all melts suddenly in one day.) Think of it like spring skiing without the costly lift tickets.