4 Places Where You Can Try Your Hand at Olympic Sports
Have a go at curling, bobsleigh and other Winter Olympics sports at these four locations.
With the XXIII Winter Olympics set to start this week, you might find yourself in the mood to try some of these sports yourself.
Although skiing and snowboarding are readily available, there are actually a number of ways to enjoy some of the Games’ lesser-known competitions. The United States and Canada are home to dedicated facilities that host everything from curling to skeleton even in non-Olympic years.
Bucks County Curling Club
Curling has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years thanks to a comparatively low level of ability needed and larger availability regionally. Thirty minutes north of Philadelphia, the Bucks County Curling Club is a prime example of making this Olympic sport accessible to everyone.
For as little as $50/person, you can rent equipment, get instruction and simulated gameplay all in two hours. They’ll even explain the differences between skips and rocks, so you’ll sound like a pro when watching the pros on TV.
Up in Alberta, you can take on the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton at Winsport on the same grounds where the 1988 Winter Games were held. The thrill of the bobsleigh is perhaps the most captivating as you glide down the Olympic track through 14 turns at speeds of more than 60 mph. The public skeleton course starts at the Ladies Luge Line and includes a large straightaway and 270-degree Kreisel corner. The Canadian National Team trains there, and the Alberta government announced $8 million+ last year to upgrade the training track to support their quest for gold.
Falcon Trails Resort
Two and a half hours driving distance east of Winnipeg, Falcon Trails Resort has a great biathlon experience (pictured) set up so you can test your mettle against prepared targets while running a relay race. Biathlon is one of the Olympics’ more historical sports, but the balance and concentration required are still as relevant as ever.
Participants receive a full briefing on safety, proper rifle operation and target practice. It’s another course that’s a training home – this time for Canadian Olympic biathletes.
If piecemealing out your Olympic experience doesn’t sound appealing, you can do it all in one place at one of the most iconic Olympic grounds: Lake Placid.
Whiteface Lodge’s “Winter Games Experience” package includes everything you need to relive the 1980 Games and enjoy the sports on the same tracks and grounds as many of the athletes did.
This includes two “Olympic Site Passports,” which offer access to the speed skating track and a ride to the skydeck atop the 393-foot jump tower. They’re also home to one of two bobsleigh/skeleton tracks in the United States (the other in Park City) where guests can fly down the icy chute in an adrenaline-pumping journey.
The Winter Games Experience also includes two 75-minute Alpine Retreat Recovery Spa Treatments at the Lodge’s Spa. After a hard day training like an Olympian, it’s a bit of respite you’ll certainly be ready for.
If watching our country’s best athletes take home the gold is whetting your appetite for some Olympic adventure, get out there and experience it.
The podium is a lot closer than you think.