They’re called “Olympia machines” — electric versions of the old Zambonis — but, like many brilliant “green” ideas, they’re expensive and don’t work:

The electric Zambonis — part of Canada’s attempt at a green Vancouver Olympics — failed multiple times this evening, causing a massive delay in in the middle of the Men’s 500-meter speedskating event.
The Canadian-built electric ice resurfacers used at the Richmond Olympic Oval are supposed to help the environment but it cost the second half of the 500M speedskating pairs after one ice-resurfacing machine couldn’t properly clean the ice. Then a second machine failed. Then they brought in a third and it, too, screwed up the course.

With speeds of up to 40 MPH reached on the ice, the rutted and uneven surface was considered too dangerous to skate on. It was eventually fixed but American Shani Davis, prepping himself for a gold medal run in the 1,000-meter, decided to withdraw.

Three electric Olympia machines were used, and none did the job. Now those things, along with their batteries, will probably end up on a scrap heap somewhere, and the Vancouver Olympics organizers are airlifting in a good ol’ gas-powered Zamboni from Calgary so there are no more long delays at the rink. “Carbon neutral” indeed. I can feel it getting warmer outside already.

This reminds me of the brilliantly conceived eco-friendly solar-powered outdoor toilets on which Seattle spent at least $140,000. But the panels got covered in snow, cutting off power to the batteries, which then froze and had to be repaired and/or replaced and the cost skyrocketed.

Yeah, let’s put the greenies in charge of the whole world!


A useless Olympia machine, above, awaits the arrival of a gas-powered Zamboni


9 Responses to “‘Green’ Ice-Cleaning Machine Fail at the Olympics; Gas-Powered Zamboni Being Airlifted In”

  1. Nanny on February 16th, 2010 7:24 pm

    I don't understand why they just don't haul out an old fashioned garden hose and spray the rink with water and bring in some windmills to circulate the cold air until it freezes. That should work just fine for the greenie weenies.

  2. Rick on February 16th, 2010 9:49 pm

    Great Olympic coverage.
    They probably couldn’t charge up the Zamgreenies because the hamsters froze.

  3. Mac on February 17th, 2010 4:27 am

    I used to drive a Zamboni when I was a teen. It's hard enough to "make the ice" in a gas-powered machine, so I can only imagine what a puttering Greenboni would do to HURT the ice surface.
    A "green" anything at an ice arena is a joke in itself. It takes a few massive compressors, large dehumidifier/AC units to remove condensation, lots of lighting, 60 gallons of piping-hot water per ice-cleaning and several tons of plexiglass, rolled plastic rink board laminates and then you need another 100 gallons of hot water to clean the ice out of the impellers when finished.
    Yeah, hockey rinks are places that always bring "green" to my mind!

  4. Olympic Athletes Angry at Planet, Want More Condoms » Right Pundits on February 27th, 2010 4:51 pm

    […] out that way. The green Olympic torch failed. Three electric ice machines failed, so a gas-powered Zamboni was airlifted from Calgary. The budget exploded…a few times. And with all that has gone […]

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