With the Richmond Olympic Oval attracting about 1 million visitors each year, it’s clear why the 2010 Winter Olympics facility is still considered one of the most popular athletic destinations in North America. The 512,000-square-foot facility, which hosted Olympic athletes in speed skating competitions, now attracts athletes of all fitness levels – from young children to professional athletes. The facility includes a 20,000-square-foot fitness center, two Olympic-sized ice rinks, FIBA-regulation basketball courts, FIVB-regulation volleyball courts and FIFA-regulation indoor soccer fields. It also is home to a 5-lane running track, a 5-lane sprint lane, a 4-story climbing wall, batting cages and yoga studios.
Those varying types of sports require a wide range of high-performing flooring solutions, according to John Mills, General Manager for the Richmond Olympic Oval. And that’s the reason why the Richmond Olympic Oval team has consistently relied on Robbins Sports Surfaces for nearly 10 years to deliver quality flooring. Mills said Robbins’ extensive experience with athletic flooring, along with quality service, distinguished it from competitors.
“We go with Robbins because we’re confident their products are sufficiently well researched … and optimized,” Mills said. “There may not be a lot of difference from one company to another when it comes to the longevity of the floor, but Robbins specializes in offering a variety of different flooring, including hardwoods and synthetic flooring. They have rubberized flooring that’s easier to maintain than other flooring.”
Another benefit lies in the level of service offered by Robbins and its dealers, Mills said. They take as much pride in the Richmond Olympic Oval as his own team, he said. “They are very professional and very responsive. When, and if, we have an issue, we can count on them to always be responsive.,” he said. “A couple of years ago, our ice rink melted over the Christmas holiday. We were worried about the warping of a portable hardwood floor right next to it. They were right on it. Ultimately, the remediation efforts worked and we didn’t have to do any replacement. It was great to be able to rely on them … it gave us a sense of comfort.”
When searching options for flooring, sports executives must consider the safety of athletes, both amateur and professional. “It’s the most important consideration for me,” said John Mills, General Manager for the Richmond Olympic Oval. “Quality flooring can reduce the risk of long-term chronic injuries among athletes. If you play on a floor for 10 years, good, quality flooring can extend your playing by 10 percent. But if you play on surfaces that are substandard, you can get injured more quickly. You’re more likely to wear out your joints.” Mills said Robbins is a leader in constructing floors and subfloors that have resilience, bounce and energy return. “With the type of flooring you get from Robbins, you’re probably not going to be more susceptible injuries, even concussions. They are at the high end of the standards.”
With thousands of members, visitors and Olympic athletes regularly training and working out at the Richmond Olympic Oval, the facility not only demands flooring that allows for peak performance; it must be equipped to withstand the daily demands of repeated use. The needs of every athlete — from members taking yoga classes to the athletes from the 49 sports teams that regularly play at the Oval — must be taken into consideration. Whether aerobics, basketball, track, volleyball or other sports, Robbins designs superior flooring to provide the performing surfaces that ideally suits the unique demands of every athlete.
The recent installation of 40,000-square-feet of Robbins’ Bio-Channel Classic flooring, favored by numerous leading NBA and NCAA teams, is a commitment to a superior level of quality performance. The flooring system features a plywood sleeper that floats on 7/16-inch Bio-Pads — among the ingredients of a uniform playing surface that delivers the perfect combination of shock absorption and deflection. “It’s the construction and the subfloor … that give it the resilience, bounce and energy return,” said General Manager John Mills. In keeping with its own reputation for providing a facility for world class athletes, the Richmond Olympic Oval trusts Robbins’ reputation as the partner to ensure pro standards.