You might have never heard of a Zamboni if you are not a Dutch neither Canadian citizen. In these two ice skating powerhouses (speed skating and ice hockey respectively) Zamboni’s are well-known and often seen machines on the ice rinks around the countries. They clean the ice and make the surface all smooth again for yet another ice hockey game or speed skating race.
In 2001, exactly one of these slow driving Zamboni ice resurfacing machines was driven across Canada from East to West. At about nine miles per hour (only 1 MPH slower than the SEGWAY WHO DROVE ACROSS the USA at 10 MPH) the journey took just under four months.
This kickass journey was conceived by the Canadian Hockey Association in celebration of Canada’s national hockey teams heading to the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. The Zamboni’s mission carried the name: Goodyear Drive For Gold.
“As we support our National Men’s and Women’s teams heading to the Salt Lake City Olympic Games, we honour the communities where the players were raised and educated, both on and off the ice. History shows most of Canada’s hockey heroes have come from smaller communities where the local hockey rink is the focal point of the town. In recognition of the communities and our national team players, a one-of-a-kind Zamboni will embark on a 6,000-km trip from coast to coast in the winter season of 2001/2002 while simultaneously raising funds for community hockey programs across Canada.“
“The Goodyear Drive For Gold Tour is a fun, whimsical take-off on the enormously popular torch relays that accompany major International events”, said Bob Nicholson, President of the CHA.
The Zamboni – disappointingly – did not actually drive the entire width of Canada itself. It was partly transported by a convoy consisting of a motorcade of two 48′ tractor-trailers. Accompanied by a tour operation center and the Goodyear Hoop Troop SUV the trip began in Eastern Canada on September 30th 2001.
The four-month odyssey known as the Goodyear Drive for Gold reached its conclusion January 23 (2002) in Calgary. The Zamboni visited 69 communities, and while cruising at 9 MPH reached every province across Canada.
The Goodyear Drive for Gold allowed all Canadians to wrap themselves in the flag and be part of a rare opportunity that had never been offered before – to drive a Zamboni down the main street in their hometown!