Calgary’s Olympic Oval has been a staple of the world speedskating community since the facility debuted for the 1988 Winter Olympics. The Olympic Oval is known as “The Fastest Ice in the World,” with more than 300 world records being set on the ice. The Oval will see 19 Canadians, including five Albertans, compete at the International Skating Union (ISU) speed skating world championships.

With athletes from more than 20 countries, including the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Korea, the United States, Poland and Kazakhstan, competing at the world championships, spectators will flock to Calgary, with an expected daily attendance of 1,500 in-person spectators over the four days. The wave of spectators is expected to give an economic boost of $4.3 million to the city through hotel bookings and visits to local businesses.

“We are thrilled to welcome the first world speedskating championship back to Calgary since 1998. This event not only reaffirms our province’s status as a premier destination for sport excellence but also provides an exciting opportunity for fans to witness elite-level competition right here at home on the fastest ice in the world.”

Joseph Schow, Minister of Tourism and Sport

Alberta’s government is providing the competition with $125,000 in funding. The ISU championships are awarded across various race distances for both men and women, including 500 metres, 1,000 metres and 1,500 metres, as well as combined events such as 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres for men and 3,000 metres and 5,000 metres for women. Additionally, both genders vie for titles in mass start, team pursuit and team sprint events.

“Calgary’s amazing speedskating facility is destined to make the ISU World Speed Skating Championships one for the memories. With more than 2,000 athletes representing over 20 countries, we are set to see some amazing competition on the fastest ice in the world.”

Joe Morissette, chief executive officer, Speed Skating Canada

Quick facts

  • Canadian athletes have won 42 Olympic speedskating medals, including 10 gold medals.
  • Calgary’s own Ted-Jan Bloemen holds the title of Canada’s most successful long-distance skater. He has won seven world championships, secured 30 World Cup medals and won both a gold and silver medal at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.