When In Utah, Do As Olympians Do
Ever wonder what happens to Olympic parks once the medal ceremonies have ended and the Olympic flame goes out? Salt Lake City (home of the 2002 Winter Games) has turned its snow-covered Olympic Park into a tourist attraction, and the park has some cool features we just had to tell you about.
Admission to the Utah Olympic Park is free, and just getting into the park allows visitors to take a self-guided tour of the Olympic competition sites, as well as access to the Winter Sports Center (which houses a ski museum as well as the 2002 Eccles Olympic Winter Games Museum). Visitors can also watch Olympians-in-training and frequent competitions throughout the park. If you’d rather have an expert lead the way, you can take a guided tour of the park’s facilities (adult/child/family $7/$5/$25).
To feel like a true Olympian, you can also speed down a bobsled track at 80 m.p.h. (IT tip: Eat your lunch after you ride "The Comet.") A trained driver takes three passengers at at time to experience one of the Winter Games’ signature sports. Participants must be over 16 years old, and tickets cost $200 per person (in summer, tickets are only $60 each).
For a less expensive thrill, adrenaline junkies can experience the World’s Steepest Zipline. The Xtreme Zip ($20, meant for riders over 100 lbs.) speeds 50 miles per hour along the K 120 ski jump hill, while the Ultra Zip ($15, meant for riders over 50 lbs.) takes riders down the winter freestyle hill.
Ziplines may not be an official Olympic sport, but we’d like to think that if we practice enough, we can start petitioning for the 2010 games in Vancouver.
Photo: Utah Olympic Parks
- Nat Geo Expeditions