Their feet may roll over pavement not ice, but that´s not stopping Costa Rica´s ice skaters from competing for gold medals abroad. And, with the completion of an outdoor roller rink on a wing of San José´s La Sabana Park, they now have the training grounds to get them there.
The new complex sits on the park´s southeast corner and consists of a 200 meter track, with an internal concrete field for figure skating and other recreational activities.
“I assure you that this new National Skating Rink will be reflected in the gold medals and new records in the upcoming National Games and in the next Olympic games in London,” said President Oscar Arias, who inaugurated the ¢335 million ($588,000) rink Saturday.
According to Osvaldo Pandolfo, deputy minister of sports, the roller rink meets all requirements for international competition and is the best track in Central America.
The facility´s first competition is planned for September, when Costa Rica will host the 14th Central American Student Games. Until then, the complex will be open to the public.
“We want to help our athletes and not hinder them,” said Arias. “Sports are one of our priorities and, even in times of economic crisis, we have refused to cut funding to them. Instead, we have built new facilities.”
That same day, Arias inaugurated a renovated fencing hall and sports conditioning center.