It would be hard to find a better sport than speed skating for the first event to be held at a 2010 Olympic Games venue.
At a media conference on Thursday, officials and athletes from the national speed skating and figure skating squads were on hand at the Pacific Coliseum to highlight upcoming training and selection camps at the Renfrew Street venue. (...)
Former 500-metres champion Francois-Louis Tremblay of Montreal said the ice at the Coliseum was slow in a July training camp, but looks good now.
"They had some trouble with the quickness, but it's been remade now," he said. "I'm quite excited to see how the arena is going to look for the World Cup. I think it's a great place to have it. I'm sure it's going to be lots of people and it's going to be loud."The national speed-skating team will conduct trials from Tuesday to Thursday at the Coliseum to determine the makeup of the national team for next month's World Cup event. Six men and six women will be selected to the team.
National team program director Yves Hamelin said the sport has raised its profile in the last few Olympics and he expects attendance to be high in a Canadian city.
"We usually have good attendance in Canada with a lot of energy from the crowd," said Hamelin. "People will love it. When you see it on TV it's one thing, but when you're on-site it's completely different. We're hoping for between 3,000 and 4,000 people."