‘The Zamboni Man’ brings smooth surfaces to Calgary’s outdoor rinks
It’s as Canadian as the Maple Leaf — getting out and clearing off your neighbourhood ice rink.
But now you can put the shovel on the sidelines, thanks to a Calgary inventor who’s come up with a mini-version of the traditional ice-cleaning machine.
“We call him ‘the Zamboni Man,’” Carmon Blacklock said.
Blacklock has booked Chris Yenna to bring his ice device to the community rink in Bridgeland throughout the winter.
Yenna spent months putting together his machine.
“Just tinkered away in the garage — lot of blood, sweat and tears,” he said.
But outdoor ice hasn’t always been part of Yenna’s life.
“I grew up in Sarasota, Florida, believe it or not.”
After studying refrigeration, Yenna spent 10 years touring with Disney on Ice, making temporary skating surfaces around the world.
“All through southeast Asia, South and Central America, Australia, as well,” Yenna said. “You just have to deal with the situations that are thrown at you and I guess that’s what makes you a good ice tech.”
He is now paid to clear off 10 community rinks around Calgary, hoping to eventually make more mini-ice machines and sell them wherever there is outdoor ice.
“I’ll take it as far as it takes me,” Yenna said. “That’s my dream.”
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