March 03, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Find more information about Richmond - Attractions
Hey everyone! Watch the video before reading!
The Richmond Oval was the home of the speed skating competition last year during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
This is a majorly cool building. If you haven’t been there yet, you owe it to yourself to check it out! The facility is MONSTROUS and offers almost every sport you can think of. I was shooting there for an hour or so at most, and I saw at least five different sports being played, plus a HUGE gym facility that was bustling with activity. On top of that, everything is still pristine new and incredibly well maintained.
I was fortunate to meet up with Aran Kay, Assistant Manager of the Oval while I was there. He gave me a quick tour of the building: two Olympic sized ice rinks, eight hardwood ball-sport courts, a full gymnasium, a 200m running track, rubberized turf area, and even a high performance centre for elite athletes. The building was buzzing with energy and filled with people enjoying their sport of choice all night long. The only sport I didn’t see (being played at least) was VOLLEYBALL! I’m a bit of volleyball nut, so this made me sad. But, they did have nets set up, so I can only assume I wasn’t there at the right time.
It’s worth mentioning that the Olympic Oval is also a super eco-friendly building with TONS of sustainability factors built into it. In the video you probably noticed the stunning wood roof. Well, that’s not ordinary wood, but rather reclaimed pine beetle wood that would have otherwise been sitting in the forest and rotting. (thus creating CO2) They’ve taken almost 1.1 million board feet of this wood (from Williams Lake area, BC!) and made the roof you see today.
On top of that, the ice in the oval actually heats the building. Yes. Heats it. All the thermal energy generated to cool the slabs is pumped through pipes and distributed back throughout the building instead of being exhausted outside. Aran told me that there’s actually so much extra energy produced from this, that when the surrounding community starts getting built up more, they will be sharing that energy to heat neighbouring homes too. Beyond that, there’s a pond outside that collects all the rainwater that falls from the roof (and there’s A LOT of it; the roof is MASSIVE at seven acres). They use this collected water to supply the sanitation systems throughout the building, so they are far less reliant on city water.
The Oval really is a stunning building. I will be eagerly awaiting a volleyball indoor drop in schedule so I can get out there and play. Aran told me that they offer free guided walking tours of the facility, so if you’re interested at all definitely get down and check it out! So many people are already enjoying this incredible facility! Why aren’t YOU?