After that awful will-never-be-mentioned-again (at least by Broncos fans!) Superbowl, the sports world is ready for the Olympics. But since Sochi isn't in this year's ski budget (and frankly the snow doesn't look so hot there anyways), Curbed Ski is rolling out a series of articles on how you can get in on the Olympic action here in 'Merica. The first stop is the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, home to many of the 2002 Winter Olympic events. This monument to athletic prowess houses the Alf Engen Ski Museum and Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum, but let's face it, you want action. Our advice? Hit the museum after you hold on for dear life on the Comet Bobsled Ride. It's the ultimate experience for wanna-be Olympians.
For $200 per person, a professional bobsled pilot takes three passengers down the entire length of the Olympic track. This means that you are getting almost the exact same experience as the Jamaican bobsled team. The only difference is that no matter how many times you chant "Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it's bobsled time," there's no running and jumping on this ride. Passengers climb in calmly and wait to be pushed onto the track. But after that? The pilot and sled take over, ripping down the track through 18 turns, experiencing up to 5 G's of force, and reaching speeds of up to 80 mph.
Adrenaline junkies will love this experience. It's comparable to bungee jumping in New Zealand or dropping into Jackson Hole's famed Corbet's Couloir for the first time. The sled goes so fast it's hard to breathe, and although the entire trip takes under a minute, time stands still as passengers struggle against all those G's. Like any somewhat extreme activity, you have to sign a waiver before you hop in the sled. But this is no joke, with operators warning that the Comet Bobsled is a "highly physical and extreme experience." We love this line: "Anyone questioning their health status or experiencing hesitations should not ride the Comet Bobsled."
Although not for the faint of heart, those brave enough to conquer the Comet will leave with a newfound appreciation for all things Olympic and will have definitely earned a few shots of whiskey from High West Distillery. Looking to live it up like you just won a gold medal? Those with helicopters might want to check out this fancy ski-in/ski-out pad, while those in the market for new digs will love this "Try Before You Buy" program that lets you vacation in your future ski home. Now you just have to make it on that box of Wheaties.
· Full schedule and information on the Comet Bobsled available here
· All Park City Coverage [Curbed Ski]
· 2014 Olympics [Curbed Ski]