February 2009, my friend Seun and I traveled to Lake Placid with the mission of trying a new sport: Skeleton. On February 22, we participated in a Skeleton Sliding Clinic. What does that mean? The lovely team at the Olympic Park gave us 3 minutes of instructions, a helmet, a sled and sent us headfirst down an ice chute. Seriously. I honestly thought there would be more training involved, but in their defense, we started in the middle of the track and only went about 30 mph. Oh wait….30 mph headfirst – ya it was quick. Was it fun? Oh hell ya! We climbed back up and instantly went for another ride.
A Little More on Skeleton…
- Athletes experience forces up to 5 G
- It originated in St. Moritz, Switzerland
- Is run on the same track used by bobsleds and luge
- Is a one-person sport
- Athletes can reach speeds over 80 mph
Where did this little trip leave us? Well Seun, an athlete with dreams of someday being in the Olympics, decided this is the sport for him and has been training for 2014 to represent his native country, Nigeria (Check out ESPN’s Skeleton Man). I on the other hand, while I did actually go faster than Seun on our runs – albeit 0.05 mph faster -, never had the opportunity to get on a sled again. How silly!
Finally in December of 2012 it was on! I traveled to Park City to join my comrade in his training endeavors and to take some photos of the quite impressive and kick-ass athletes practicing their ever important starts (below). I also found a new sport to try: bobsledding! Is it amazing? Oh hell ya! The Park City Olympic Park also has programs for the public in Skeleton and Bobsled.
Park City Bobsled Details…
- Ride down the entire length of the Park City Olympic track
- Experience 15 turns
- Reach a speed of almost 80 mph
- Experience up to 5 G’s of force
Park City Bobsled Noted Requirements on their Website (i.e. reasons to ride the bobsled)
- The Comet Bobsled ride is a highly physical and extreme experience, generating up to 4-5 times the force of gravity.
- We strongly discourage anyone with chronic neck problems, back or kidney problems, heart problems, recent surgery, and/or high blood pressure from riding the Comet Bobsled.
- Anyone questioning their health status or experiencing hesitations should not ride the Comet bobsled.
- Please note that there is a possibility of injury whether the above listed conditions and symptoms apply to you or not.