Trailside students learn about a different kind of sledding
Of the Record staff
The students at Trailside learned that sleds come in all shapes and sizes, like those for skeleton and luge.
The Youth Winter Sports Alliance was at Trailside Elementary School on Wednesday to get the students geared up for the Olympics. Shelley Gillwald, executive director of the Youth Winter Sports Alliance, also wants children to know about the range of winter sports opportunities that are available to them as Park City residents.
Outreach Coordinator for the YWSA, Janet Peterson, encouraged students to "try all the sports you can try," because different people have different aptitudes.
Before showing the audience of students a short video presentation of clips from the 2002 Olympics Peterson told the children they’re never too young to pick up a new sport.
"They might be big kids, but they all started when they were your age," Peterson said of the Olympic athletes she was about to show them.
Following the video, Peterson introduced Cody Salrin, who competes in freestyle ski. He explained the different skis used in the competition, including the twin-tip ski.
"In general all we want to do is go straight and really fast," he said, pointing out how the shape of the ski can help a person to do that.
He also urged the students to watch all the Park City locals, such as Joe Pack, who will be in the Turin Olympics.
Jason "Crash" Jentzch, with the National Sports Foundation, explained cross country skiing, and the skies that are used in ski jumping.
"Crash" asked for a volunteer from the audience and helped a small second grader into an adult-size ski jump suit.
"This is so they can catch air. It makes you look tough too," he said.
Bob Lesar showed the students how a person controls skeleton and luge sleds by shifting their body weight.
The crowd favorite was snowboarding, and many students got excited when Eliza Greene and Alex Lyman of the Park City Snowboard Team addressed them.
Alex asked how old everyone was, which elicited responses of seven or eight.
"That’s a good time to start," Greene said.
Another short video presentation was shown with spectacular goofs and well-executed jumps that had students laughing or gasping in awe.
Afterwards the children got to touch the equipment they had been shown during the presentation. Some tried on the oversized snowboard boots and others were eager to lie down on the loge.
The Youth Winter Sports Alliance sent the students home with a book of coupons that included a ski rental and a two-for-one admission to the new Park City Ice Arena and Sports Complex. They were also given an Olympic viewers guide.
Camilla Medel, a second grader whose favorite sport is snowboarding, enjoyed learning about the different sports.
"They’re really cool and they know a lot of stuff," she said of the presenters.
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Buses, trains and gondolas doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but they make up the transit alternatives for the mountain transportation system the Central Wasatch Commission is trying to create, mostly in the Cottonwood canyons.