Minnesota Zamboni Driver Selected to Drive for Olympic Winter Games

Adam Stirn never set out to make this a career. KMSP Fox 9's Rob Olson Reports from Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota man is headed to the Olympics…for the art of the Zamboni.

Adam Stirn never set out to make this a career.

“It was a college job back in Michigan,” Stirn said. “I was just looking for some extra money and decided to get a job at the ice arena.”

Four years into his day job at the University of Minnesota, and nights at Wild games across the river, his skills on the ice are sending him to South Korea.

“I received a phone call a few months ago out of the blue,” Stirn said. “It blew me away.”

When asked if it felt as if he has made an Olympic team himself, Stirn laughed.

“The Olympic Zamboni team. Yeah! I guess you could say that,” he said.

For most of us, there is a huge allure to the Zamboni.

A machine that carries close to 200 gallons of water and uses most of that for each resurface, spreading a very thin layer at 160 degrees.

There is a science and precision to your speed, your turns, what you add and remove.

When this inch-thick sheet needs to be perfect, Adam is one of three Twin Cities ice technicians who will work the Winter Olympics hockey rinks.

“It’s all about keeping the players safe and giving them a quality sheet of ice,” Stirn said. “Hard, fast, that’s what they’re looking for and that’s hopefully what we’ll be able to give them. This is an Olympic sheet size ice, so should be pretty familiar with my pattern and what not.”

There will be eight Americans total, plus some from Canada who were recruited by the American in charge of all Olympic ice.

Stirn leaves on Super Bowl Sunday and doesn’t mind at all.

“I’ll give up a Super Bowl in the hometown to go to South Korea for some Olympics,” he added.

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