From left: 2010 coin winner, Cathy Sagarbarma, Arne Danker (Olympic Medalist), Raymond Li (Aspac) at prize presentation.

With the cracking of the 4-ft. ice sculpture, it marks the official launch of the Speed Skating Canada Community Tour from now till February 2010. The display will go into public libraries, community centres, swimming pools, shopping malls around Richmond and the Richmond Olympic Oval to create awareness and understanding of this Canadian winter sport which made its debut at the first Winter Olympics in 1924.

“We are proud to partner with Speed Skating Canada and Richmond Spirit of BC Committee to educate the public all about long and short track speed skating,” says Raymond Li of Aspac Developments.

Apparently, speed skating accounts for half of the medals (12 medals out of the 24 total) won by Canada in Torino, Italy. “It is great to be sponsoring an initiative that shares similar philosophy – pursuit of excellence, health and wellness, and sustainability. And it is only natural for us to support the sport taking place right at our doorsteps,” adds Li.

“It’s wonderful to be making my last public appearance in Richmond, the next Olympic Venue City. We feel the excitement and support in the community. I will continue to support the Canadian team in 2010 and I ask that you do the same to cheer for our athletes as they compete for the podium,” says Arne Dankers, Olympic medalist and Canadian record holder in the 3,000m, 5,000m, 10,000m and Team Pursuit.

The Community Tour is a joint effort of Speed Skating Canada, Richmond Spirit of BC Committee and River Green, Richmond’s newest waterfront community, of Aspac Developments.