Province gives $40M for training facility, more on the way

Sports complex dream closer to reality

darren krause/metro calgary

Former Olympic speed skater Catriona Lemay Doan, left, Premier Ed Stelmach and Canadian women’s hockey great Cassie Campbell were at Canada Olympic Park yesterday.


The Calgary Olympic Development Association’s dream of a national centre of sports excellence got a big boost from the province yesterday.

Premier Ed Stelmach, surrounded by Olympians past, present and future, announced the delivery of $40 million in the first phase of three in the construction of a national sports centre at Canada Olympic Park.

The money is part of a $69-million investment by the province that will see the development of a $276-million facility that will ultimately provide many of Canada’s athletes with world-class resources.

The new athletic complex will eventually house two NHL-sized rinks, two Olympic-sized ice surfaces, gym facilities, training equipment, medical facilities and administrative space. The building will also become the new home for Hockey Canada.

“The Alberta government is committed to strengthening Alberta’s role as a sport leader within Canada and around the world,” said Premier Stelmach.

“Canada’s road to success in the 2010 Olympics travels through Alberta.”

The new mega-sports structure is also being welcomed by athletes.

Bobsled pilot Helen Upperton said bringing everything together under one roof will make the facility more effective for athletes.

“It’s going to be a great facility to train at,” said Upperton.

“It’s just going to be sort-of a step up in all of the different facets of our training and preparation for our competition.”

The development plans for the initial stages of the athletic and ice complex will go before Calgary city council for approval on Sept. 10.

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