THINGS TO DO:
World Class Sports & Recreational Facilities
What was I thinking? Perched atop Canada Olympic Parks’ monstrous ski jump tower, strapped into a sturdy, comfortable harness, I’m about to fly down North America’s fastest zipline. I’ve had my practice session at the base of the hill but am I ready for speeds up to 140 km/hr (87 mph)? And a vertical drop of more than 100 m (328 ft)??
And I must be completely out of my mind because I’m following this up with the Summer Bobsleigh Ride, the other part of my Adrenaline Combo package. But at least on this one we have a professional driver. We’ll travel the twists and turns of the Olympic track as fast as 100 km/hr (62 mph) while reaching 4 G forces. This could be the wildest 60 seconds of my life!
Where the Action (Still) Is
Canada Olympic Park was one of the premier facilities built for the Olympic Winter Games, which Calgary hosted in 1988. It’s been reinventing itself ever since. Along with the original facilities including the ski jump towers, the site now houses three new indoor skating rinks, the refurbished Ice House and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. It is a year round facility where Canadian and visiting athletes train for luge, bobsleigh, skeleton, ski jumping and Nordic combined.
My family can hardly wait for the newest addition. Skyline Luge will be the world’s longest luge track and is bound to be a crowd pleaser when it opens June 2013. It will run alongside the site’s original Olympic luge track with 1,800 m (5,905 ft) of twists and turns dropping over 100 m (328 ft) along the course.
The kids love the mountain biking at COP – the only park in Alberta with lift-access trails. There’s something for every skill level from pump tracks to jump trails and expert-only runs. The Skills Park features dirt jumps, tables, doubles and obstacles.
Canmore Nordic Centre
Carrying on with the mountain biking theme, Canmore Nordic Centre – also built for the Olympics – is just as much fun in the summer as winter. More than 100 km (62 mi) of interconnected cross country ski trails become bike paths in the summer and fall. We bring visitors out here to show off our Olympic legacy and beautiful alpine terrain. You can rent bikes and even take guided tours. There’s a bike park, too, with bridges, drops, skinnies and a wall ride – a perfect place to leave the kids while the adults get in a game of disc golf or hike the Grassi Lakes Interpretive Trail. Don’t be surprised to see world class athletes in training for biathlon alongside us regular folk!