Members of the Calgary Flames Alumni, Calgary Stampeders and some summer Olympic medallists slapped on the long blades Wednesday at the Olympic Oval.
The local celebrities teamed up with Canada’s top speed skaters to help kick off the 2020 ISU World Cup Speed Skating event in Calgary.
That meant a lot of athletes out of their sports comfort zone, but the reviews from the participants were promising.
“It was great," said Stampeder Jamar Wall. "First time speed skating, second time ever ice skating period -- but it was a blast.
“We’re athletes or ex-athletes and have our own (set of athletic) skills," he added, "so to get out here and do something different, it just shows that you can always learn something new.”
Celebrities received instruction on the do’s and don’ts of speed skating from the National Team Long Trackers who will host the World Cup this week down at the Olympic Oval.
“Everyone was just having fun, its a hard sport and I don’t think people realize how hard it is to skate on these blades.” said Ivanie Blondin of Canadas National Long Track Team
All participants formed six teams and competed in a fun head-to-head relay race around the Oval.
Canada’s National Long Track Team can be seen competing for a podium spot February 7 and 8 at the Olympic Oval.