Courtesy Park City CVB
Daring group members who want a real-life Olympic experience can zip down bobsled, luge and skeleton tracks at former winter Olympic sites in North America.
“It’s the ultimate roller coaster on steroids,” said John Lundin, communications director for the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority, which manages Lake Placid’s Olympic facilities.
At the Mount Van Hoevenberg sliding track, three passengers at a time can ride with a trained driver in a bobsled down the same tracks used in the Olympics.
“In the summer, we give wheeled bobsled rides,” said Lundin.
Although there is a bobsled driver, if you want to try the skeleton, which resembles a small sled, “you are on your own,” said Lundin. “You finish the last quarter of the milelong course and are zipping down at 35 or so miles per hour; your chin is just a few inches off the ice.”
At the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, the bobsled rides reach speeds of 80 miles per hour in the winter. They are a little slower in the summer, only 70 miles per hour when the ride is on wheels.
“Everyone sits in the sled, and the employees push it off,” said Amy Kersey, communications coordinator for the Park City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “There is a trained, experienced driver. You are just along for the ride, hanging on for dear life. But you get the full Olympic effect.”