Thousands add names to Olympic ice oval roof



rafe arnott/metro vancouver


Mimi Kut, 17, signs a section of roof destined for the Olympic Speed Skating Oval in Richmond yesterday. More than 5,000 people signed the roof this weekend, which is made of wood from trees killed by the pine beetle.

Olympic fervor struck a chord in Richmond this weekend as more than 5,000 people lined up to sign a small section of roof that will cap the Olympic Speed Skating Oval.

"It’s a part of history and I want to leave a footprint," said Justinne Ramirez, 17, as she signed the roof with her friend Mimi Kut. "It’s good to see the community together, it’s amazing and wonderful."

Richmond spokesman Ted Townsend said the response had exceeded all expectations and added that many of the people came from outside Richmond to be part of the event.

"People are just really excited about having a little bit of the Olympics and being a part of things," said Townsend.

At noon yesterday, a lineup of kids and parents stretched for half a block near city hall, waiting for their turn to sign a section of roof already covered with thousands of tiny signatures.

The roof section is one of 450. It will shortly be installed at the ice oval and covered with a membrane to protect it from the weather.

"It’s our twist on the lucky loonie," Townsend said.