Have you ever wondered how they paint a skating rink's ice?

For more than 85 years, the Lake Placid Olympic Center has hosted elaborate figure skating shows, hockey games and other events with participates gliding over ornately painted ice with intricate designs lying just below its surface.

At the start of each fall and winter skating season, Olympic Arena staff begins preparing the center's three rinks by cleaning their floors and turning on the refrigeration. Once the correct temperature is set, they begin the process of making ice. Using garden hoses, they start creating thin layers of ice, letting each layer freeze before making the next.

After about a quarter of an inch of ice is layered, a base coat of white paint is sprayed on the surface. This is sealed in with yet another sheet of ice and the appropriate markings, such as sponsor logos and other designs, are measured and applied.

Using stencils as their guide, crews dust chalk over the pattern and once removed the outline of the logo remains and painting begins. The final layer of paint is sealed in with a coating of ice and the rink is gradually flooded until the ice is about two to three inches deep and ready for the Zamboni.

ecac 1980 rink