Standing at the top of the K120 ski jump at the Olympic Village in Park City Utah, I realize another reason why I’m not an Olympic athlete. I’m chicken. I mean, would you take a serious look at that?!
That’s 80 meters or 262 feet to the bottom of the jump. Then you go flying in the air for a while aided only by a couple of toothpicks strapped to your feet and hands. Add to the image about 50,000 people in an audience below and a worldwide television audience. Yep, that’s a good reason to watch the Olympics at home on TV.
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Utah’s Olympic Village
But you should put an Olympic village, any Olympic village, on your travel radar. They are, well, everywhere there’s been a modern Olympic games.
Park City Utah is such a cool place. This is where the 2002 Winter Games were held. You can get a little winter action of your own, whether or not you visit in the winter.
First of all is the Alf Engen Ski Museum. A Norwegian immigrant to the US in the 1920s, Alf Engen founded the first ski school in Utah and helped build many western ski resorts. The museum has lots of Olympic medals, a cool exhibit that simulates an avalanche and another ride that simulates a downhill ski run.
Then there’s the 2002 Olympic museum itself, showing off some of the costumes from the opening/closing ceremonies and celebrating the athletes that broke records and won medals that year. One exhibit explains why these Olympics actually made money. That’s one reason why this museum available to the public and athletes for years to come.
You can also take a run in a bobsled or on a luge. Now that’s totally nuts. It costs about $250 per person — another reason I’m not an Olympic athlete. I’m too cheap. But the $10 for the bus tour around the village and to the top of the ski jumps was well worth it.
So, I’ll sit safely in my warm living room before my big screen TV and cheer on those who have the skill, the drive, the funding and the mojo to become Olympic athletes.
Explore Park City and More of Utah