Ice Box rink manager to work Olympics in South Korea - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Ice Box rink manager to work Olympics in South Korea

Ice Box rink manager to work Olympics in South Korea

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Before the fans pile in and the players hit the ice - that's when you'll find Tanner Baker in his element. 

As rink manager at the Ice Box, it's his job to make sure everything is ready to go for each game. 

It's something the 34 year-old has been doing more than half his life - and he's gotten pretty at it. 

That's why he was one of just eight people from across the U.S. selected to maintain the ice rinks being used at this year's Winter Olympics in South Korea. 

"It's incredible. It's a lifelong dream to get to that level," Baker said. 

"Being from Lincoln, Nebraska, we're not really known for our ice sports - but we're moving up. Every year we get a little more recognition, and it's truly an honor."

Baker and the rest of the crew will be responsible for installing and maintaining several ice rinks and, despite his skills, he says he can't help but feel the pressure. 

"It's a little nerve-wracking being at that level," he said. 

"There's no room for errors - there are no mistakes. So, we have to be on top of our game and make sure everything is perfect."

Baker will leave next week, and spend 41 days in the country. 

But forget any notions of his trip being an Asian vacation - Baker says the group's schedule is brutal. 

"It sounds like 12 hour days for 31-38 days," he said. 

"It's going to be all work, no play. I am hoping to get to a hockey game though."

Baker leaves behind his own crew of 12 to take care of the Ice Box in his absence, and says he's confident they won't miss a beat. 

Harder to leave behind, he says, are his girlfriend and three young daughters. 

"We've been preparing for it the best we can," he said. 

"We're going to miss each other a bunch."

As for what the Nebraska boy is looking forward to the most on the trip? 

"Coming home," he said with a laugh. 

"I think, after 41 days, I think I'll be ready for a good greasy hamburger and to come back to the United States."

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