Olympic Park, Park City, Utah — Photo courtesy of Utah Olympic Park
It's easy to start getting excited about visiting Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, when, on the drive up to it, you can see the actual ski jumps where Olympic history was made not so long ago. The Park was built in 2002 just for the Winter Olympics and other events such as bobsled, luge, skeleton and Nordic combined events took place here too. It's still a training center for athletes and the great thing is the public can not only watch, but take a tour behind the scenes and stroll through both museums on site. Other fun activities are offered such as zip lines and alpine slides, too.
Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center at Olymipc Park — Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren
The Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center is a beautiful 3-story building, housing both the Alf Engen Ski Museum and Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum, along with a gift shop and cafe. The museums teach the history of all skiing disciplines, with video and interactive display. The gallery of Olympic artifacts from the 2002 games is fascinating, from medals and costumes worn, to beautiful artistic animal props that were used in the opening ceremony. Admission is free.
Adventure Course — Photo courtesy of Utah Olympic Park
But the museums are certainly not the only thing to see and do at Olympic Park. For the adventurous, head outdoors to the ropes courses or ride the extreme and free-style zip lines. Want a big thrill? Take a 65-foot free fall from the Drop Tower or ride with a pro over at the bobsled track, where you'll reach an exhillerating 80mph! You can also do an individual rocket skeleton ride, winding through 4 curves and reaching up to 50mph. Available May through October is the ever popular alpine slide, where you can individually ride in your own sled, traversing staight-aways, drops and 18 banked turns (yes, there's a hand-held brake, thank goodness).
Flying Aces All Star Show — Photo courtesy of Utah Olympic Park
Also at no cost is the excitement of being able to watch current and future athletes train year-round at the Park. In the summer, you can catch the freestyle aerialists, who perform incredible maneuvers off the ski jumps, then land in a splash pool. Catch the pros in a weekend show. Getting motivated to try something yourself? Olympic Park offers many classes in a variety of sports, from freestyle, freeskiing, alpine and nordic, to bobsled, skeleton and luge. The resumes of these instructors are quite impressive, many having been national team members or Olympic champions themselves.
Ziplining at Olympic Park — Photo courtesy of Utah Olympic Park
Staying at a hotel at nearby Kimball Junction? Complimentary shuttle service is available to the Park. Just call and request in advance. Park passes can save money when you or your family would like to do a variety of activities. Come see why the Olympic Park in Park City, Utah is the exciting destination for athletes, hopeful athletes, those who want to try an adventure or sport or those who just enjoy being spectators. Olympic Park is truly a multi-purpose facility, where the public can have first-hand experience at exciting activities that aren't available just anywhere. Olympic Park is truly an ongoing Olympic-sized thrill.