Utah Olympic Park readies for post-Olympic winter
The 2014 Winter Olympics are over, but that doesn’t mean it will be a slow winter at the Utah Olympic Park.
Though the park won’t host the slew of World Cup and Olympic Qualifying events it hosted last season, there will still be plenty to see and do.
First off, the Comet Bobsled rides will begin on Friday, Nov. 28, and run through the end of March.
Second, the winter adventure courses, Zipline and drop tower will be available at certain points throughout the winter.
"We’ll do what we call a Holiday Pass, which is basically the holiday version of the Gold Pass," said Sandy Chio, marketing director of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation. "It gets you the three adventure courses, the Zipline, chairlift and also the drop tower. That runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 4. We’re also open for Martin Luther King weekend and we move to the Winter Adventure Pass for that weekend. Then, starting Presidents [Day] weekend through the end of April, we have a winter adventure product."
Chio said those activities are more available during the later part of the winter for a reason.
"To be perfectly honest, it’s really weather-driven," she said. "Those activities are actually fun when it’s a good spring day out and not quite as fun if it’s a blustery winter day."
But, though the activities schedule is limited, Chio said there’s always the museum, which is open 365 days a year and recently opened three new exhibits, including a virtual ski jump.
Then, she added, there are still several competitions at the park open to spectators.
"We have a Nordic Combined Continental Cup, a couple Aerial North American Cups and then we have a Bobsled North American Cup, in addition to a Junior Luge World Cup," she said. "It’s awesome to still be hosting international and national events, but still getting to take a little bit of a break after a busy year last year."
That being said, Chio noted that the North American and Continental Cups don’t feature less competition, just fewer countries.
"It’s not a lesser competition, in any way, shape or form," she said. "It’s just between countries that are closer to each other. They’re just being smarter on budget and not traveling as far to do as many races."
Finally, for those interested in getting involved in winter sports, the Utah Olympic Park offers three programs for beginners.
"We already have programs started and we’re registering for our three sports clubs Park City Nordic Ski Club, FLY Freestyle and G-Force, which is our bobsled/skeleton program," Chio said. "As long as you have a basic ski background on the FLY side, you can sign up and start advancing from there. On the cross-country side, actually, no experience is required. Same with G-Force, though you have to be within a certain age range, usually 14-22. Most of those programs have registration deadlines in mid-December."
For more information about the Utah Olympic Park and its programs and activities, visit http://www.utaholympiclegacy.com/park .
Upcoming UOP Competitions
Dec. 12-14 FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup
Dec. 15-16 Junior Luge World Cup
Dec. 18-21 FIS Aerial North American Cup
Feb. 1-8 FIBT Bobsled North American Cup
Feb. 5-7 FIS Aerial North American Cup
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