Hosting the Winter Olympics in 2002 meant building venues, including the Utah Olympic Park in Park City for sliding and jumping events. Visitors now get to feel those same thrills.
The Park is open for the summer with a myriad of activities, many of which simulate an Olympic event. Here’s a look:
Bobsled. Running down the same track that hosted the luge, skeleton and bobsled events in 2002, visitors get the in-your-face experience of hurtling down the track at 60 mph. One-minute ride is piloted by professional bobsled driver, and there’s room for three adventurous riders. Sleds have been retrofitted with wheels to “slide” down the concrete course.
Air bag jump. This new feature at the Olympic Park allows guests to feel what it’s like to step off into space before bouncing safely into the inflatable landing zone. Platforms at five, 10 and 15 feet increase the thrill. It is here that elite freestyle skiers and riders hone their acrobatic skills for the real stuff in the winter.
Extreme tubing. The ski jumps that hosted competitions in 2002 – and provide training venues for top athletes – have been retrofitted with plastic “hairs” for tubing. The inflatable inner tubes fly down the steep landing zones on 40-, 64- and 90-meter hills, reaching speeds of 50 mph.
Zipline course. While not an Olympic sport, whizzing down a steel cable at breakneck speeds resembles many of the risks that Olympians take. At 5,700 feet in length, the course differs in that it’s a continuous ride -- with short intervals to hook up to the next line – and boasts the second-steepest zipline in the world.
On weekends, Olympic-level freestyle athletes show off their latest tricks to an audience during a half-hour display jumping into the Olympic swimming pool at the facility.