Dave Wescott is one of America's top ice rink technicians. He has overseen the construction and maintenance of rinks used for hockey and figure-skating competitions in several Winter Olympics. He explained his process for creating such an ice rink, which has been illustrated in this information graphic.
Ice rinks for the Olympics are often set up temporarily and have foundations of sand. The sand buries a network of pipes circulating about 3,000 gallons of antifreeze, which carries heat away from the sand. The sand is saturated with water and gradually freezes solid.
On top of the frozen sand, ice rink technicians build up thin layers of ice. They use water mixed with white paint to make three of the earlier layers. Then they paint graphics on this white ice. Afterward, They cover the graphics with as many as 50 more layers unit they reach a thickness of about an inch.
Jacob Benison, Information Graphic, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04 February 2006