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vancouver venues on track; ice makers wary of rain

Toronto, Canada-Nicole MordantVANCOUVER (Reuters)-
On Tuesday, Vancouver showed off its almost finished Winter Olympic venues, and officials turned their attention to the tricky question of how to keep the ice on the game in this perennial wet and humid city.
Less than a month before the start of the Olympics, Olympic ice makers have just begun the arduous process of creating the required texture and thickness of the ice surface in the city\'s Olympic speed skating and curling ice rink.
Through past experience, the Olympic \"ice can\" has a better handle on how to deal with the heat of TV lights.
But the traditionally humid climate of Pacific coastal cities has brought new obstacles, says Neil Houston, the venue curling maker at the Vancouver Olympic Center curling championship.
The skating rink is by far the largest Olympic curling ground with 5,600 seats. -
Perfect competition for the threat that ice could face, as hordes of bodies would heat the building. If it rains, the water on people\'s clothes will evaporate inside the building, and if the ice rink surface is wet, it may cause ice to freeze.
\"The main challenge is that we don\'t have 6,000 people and there\'s no pouring rain,\" Houston told more than 100 foreign and local journalists during a trip to curling venues, located in a tree-lined area on the outskirts of Vancouver.
Frost on the ice could slow the speed of speed skaters, said Mark Mesel, an CBFI ice makerat the Richmond Olympic Oval, which will host all speed skaters.
\"It may affect (skaters\')
Mesel said he was involved in making ice at the first three Winter Olympics.
The venue in Vancouver will officially open on February 4, and athletes will start training on February 12.
Vancouver and the surrounding suburbs are venues for skating, hockey, curling, freestyle skiing and snowboarding.
Damnavits, director of Vancouver venues, said on January that all venues were held as scheduled, and most of the venues had additional open-air viewing tables and lighting in the last lap.
Mountain Wheeler resort community, about 125 km (78 miles)
Mountain and Nordic skiing activities will be held in northern Vancouver, as well as sledding and sledding.
Organizers plan to have reporters visit the venues on Wednesday. (
Supplementary report by Alan Dodd in Vancouver)
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