University of Calgary

Skate sharpening method to give Olympians an edge

More precise grinding machine could shave split seconds off race time for speed skaters

Feb. 4, 2014

When a split second can mean the difference between a gold, silver, bronze or no medal at all, it's crucial to eliminate even the slightest imperfection in a skate blade that could affect athletic performance.

New technology under development at the University of Calgary will make it quicker and easier to change the shape of skate blades. The computerized machine will also increase the precision of the grinding process.

The project is a collaboration between the Olympic Oval Skate Shop and the Schulich School of Engineering. The goal is to build the equipment in time to help athletes who train for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

WHAT:   New speed skate sharpening technology under development at the      
        University of Calgary                                               
WHEN:   Wednesday, February 5, 2014                                         
        10:00 to 11:30 a.m.                                                 
WHERE:  Olympic Oval Skate Shop, Collegiate Blvd. NW, University of Calgary
        Parking: Paylot 9 located directly in front of the Oval. Marked     
        media vehicles may park on campus free of charge.                   
WHO:    James Monson, Olympic Oval Skate Shop                               
        Clinton Stern, Schulich School of Engineering Machine Shop