Speed skating is a sport that requires speed, skill, competitiveness and ultimately, the pursuit of excellence. And with the completion of the Richmond Olympic Oval, a world-class speed-skating facility, Canada’s national speed skating team can now train all-year-round in Richmond, which is believed may gain competitive advantage for the Canadian team.

Recognizing that the public is unfamiliar with speed skating, Aspac, a highly respected real estate developer, has organized community tours to educate the public about the sport, encourage their participation and provide support for our Olympic athletes at the Games.

Aspac, partnering with Speed Skating Canada and the Richmond Spirit of BC, will answer questions about the little-known sport and explain, for example, the differences between long track and short track speed skating.

Sponsored by River Green, Aspac’s newest waterfront community in Richmond, the community tours will visit Richmond neighbourhoods for 15 months – from December 2008 to February 2010.

Two displays will travel throughout elementary and secondary schools, community centres, libraries, ice rinks, swimming pools and shopping malls. Between their intensive training schedules, athletes will make personal appearances in schools and shopping malls to educate the public on speed skating, displaying the unique equipment needed for both long track and short track speed skating, answer any questions on the sport, sign autographs, pose for photographs with the public and, hopefully inspire youngsters to become speed skaters.

To further enhance the sport, members of Richmond Spirit of BC and BC Speed Skating Association have kindly volunteered their time to help at the display. The display made its first public appearance at the official opening of the Richmond Olympic Oval on December 12 and 13, 2008.