(August 16, 2004) Olympic Oval, Calgary – The Olympic Oval is proud to present our seventh annual Summer Classic competition to kick off the Olympic speed skating season. Running from August 20-22, the Summer Classic is the only summer speed skating competition in North America, giving many athletes their first opportunity of the season to take a shot at breaking World Records.

There will be many thrilling and suspenseful moments throughout the competition. The Classic has grown into an exciting three-day international competition with athletes from several countries including, Canada, China, Japan and the Netherlands. Last year, national records and personal best times were set.

Come out and see some of the world’s best speed skaters take to the ice, including:

Erben Wennemars (Netherlands), 2004 World Sprint champion, 1st-100m and 1st 1500m 2003 Single Distance Championships, 1st-1000m 2003 World Sprint Championships, 1st-1000m and 2nd-500m and 3rd- 1500m overall 2002/2003 World Cup standings, 5th-1000m at the Olympics

Mark Tuitert (Netherlands), 2004 European Champion

Eriko Ishioko (Japan), 2004 Junior World Champion

Tomomi Okazaki (Japan), 1998 Olympic Bronze Medallist, 3rd –500m 1999 World Single Distance Championships

Canadian National Team and National Development Team skaters are unable to attend this competition due to their training schedule.

Men’s and Women’s All Around competitions and 100m competitions will start on Friday, while Sprint competitions will start Saturday with all competitions winding up on Sunday. For the third time ever, a 10,000 meter mass start race with over 25 athletes will take place on Sunday – a Summer Classic tradition! Races start at 17:00 on Friday and 10:00 on Saturday and Sunday.

For further information contact:
Sharon deBoer, Olympic Oval Events
(403) 220-5190 or deboer@ucalgary.ca