Nebraska to South Korea: Lincoln man cares for ice at Winter Olympics

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Lincoln native Tanner Baker is in charge of maintaining the ice at the Ice Box, the home of the Lincoln Stars, in the Capital City.

Baker spent the last six weeks in Pyeongchang, South Korea for the Winter Olympics, using his skills to maintain the ice there.

"Going to South Korea was something I never thought I would be able to do, especially representing the ice technicians and Lincoln Star Hockey," said Baker, Lincoln Stars Rink Manager.

Baker was on an 8-person American crew that maintained the competition surface at both the short-track speed skating and figure skating venues.

In total the group oversaw four sheets of ice.

"Pulling out on the ice for the first time was impressive, it really hit home how big of a deal it is to be here," said Baker.

Baker says it's the thrill of a lifetime to be at the Olympics.

He, in fact, didn't seek out the position.

Instead, he was contacted by a former co-worker who recommended him for the job.

"12-hour days for 38 days straight. Getting all the building temps and humidity levels and everything under control. And getting the ice to the right thickness and painting and all that," he explained.

Baker has been working for the Lincoln Stars for more than 10 years. The last four he's served as the rink manager at the Ice Box.

Baker said he will cherish everything from the Olympics, and even brought back a few new tricks.

"I learned a lot while I was there, it will definitely get put into good use here on our ice," said Baker.