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Tracking the oval at Canada Games 2011

Watching a long-track speed skating oval being carved out of the Halifax North Common is thrilling for Catriona Le May Doan.

Watching a long-track speed skating oval being carved out of the Halifax North Common is thrilling for Catriona Le May Doan.

The world champion and Olympic gold medalist explained to reporters yesterday what a unique opportunity this venue will be for the community and the Canada Winter Games when it comes to Halifax in February.

“It’s absolutely incredible to see this happen in Atlantic Canada,” she said.

Construction started last month and required a major cut into the soil, said Terry Gallagher, HRM project manager.

“This is being built on top of a garbage site. In the 19th and early 20th century, this site was used as a landfill and what we’re looking at now is the clay cap that was put on top of it to keep the garbage from oozing up,” he said.

Refrigeration piping will be installed later this week and the project is on schedule — and on a budget of $2.1 million — for the ice to be ready by December. Le May Doan promised the ice will be high quality since several people from the Calgary Olympic Oval will be in Halifax to help.

“And I’ll say having married one of the guys who made the ice in Calgary, you guys are going to have exceptional ice,” she said, adding later she’d like to try it out when she broadcasts the competition in February.

 
 
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