Finland's Sami Päivike builds Rideau Canal-rivalling 25 kilometre rink
Ottawa's Rideau Canal holds Guinness record of 'largest skating rink' at 7.8 km
A Finnish man has single-handedly cleared an outdoor skating rink more than three times longer than Ottawa's Rideau Canal Skateway.
Sami Päivike is a tourism company CEO living in Rovaniemi, a northern Finnish city directly located on the Arctic Circle.
He told the CBC's Ottawa Morning host Hallie Cotnam on Tuesday his rink started as a small project and just kept going to 25 kilometres
"I had some days off during Christmas time, nothing to do that much," he said.
"First I was thinking I wanted to make a small skating rink for the children outdoors, it went well so I was thinking 'why not, should I do a bit more, longer?' and then that's how it all started."
Päivike said his three-metre wide rink started as a 3.5 kilometre stretch, then he added another 4.5 kilometres, and eventually wound up with the length he has today.
"I just have a strong ATV with chains on the backside" and a blade on the front, he said.
The Guinness Book of World Records declared Ottawa's 7.8 kilometre-long Rideau Canal Skateway the "world's largest skating rink" in 2005.
"It's a good start," declared Päivike, who added he had to look up where Ottawa was on a map and found "it's so (far) south, to us it's like Spain."
Despite Päivike's friendly trash talk, the Rideau Canal's 165,621 square metres is still bigger than Rovaniemi's 75,000 square metre rink.
You can hear his full Ottawa Morning interview on the audio player in this story.