Flying Ace All-Stars Soar at Utah Olympic Park

When you come to the Utah Olympic Park, you often see athletes training in the Spence Eccles Freestyle pool, but are often left felt lacking, as these athletes rarely go off “Mongo” (the triple jump equivalent to an Olympic freestyle jump!) Do not fret however, because the Flying Ace-A_EMS2159-webll Stars perform two shows per week that showcase all of the jumps at Utah Olympic Park.

Started in 1998 by Olympians Fuzz Feddersen and Trace Worthington, Flying Ace Productions brings together World-Cup and Olympic-level freestyle skiers to perform choreographed water ramp shows. Athletes who participate in the freestyle shows love jumping in front of fans who come to the shows because it gives them even more practice on the jumps, plus they are able to finance their training and competition by jumping in the shows.

As fans watch the freestyle shows that occur every Saturday and Sunday until September 4th, the All-Stars demonstrate the training progression that they all went through before becoming world-class athletes. Starting on the mini jump learning how to go off t_EMS9474.jpghe ramps into the bubbled pool, they eventually progress to flips off of bigger jumps until they are ready to jump off the triple with multiple flips and twists.

In addition to watching the progression of athletes, spectators also watch the athletes perform acrobatic stunts where multiple athletes jump at the same time over each other, often missing each other by just a few feet. All of these shows are narrated by Fuzz himself, which in addition to choreographed music, makes the shows fun for the whole family.

Red Bull 400

A 400 meter race RB15-095-RB400-Poster-utah-ParkCity(1)does not sound intimidating to most runners. Add the immensity of a Nordic ski jump at 6,870 feet of altitude and the challenge factor increases exponentially—thus the conception of the Red Bull 400. The Red Bull 400 comes to the United States for the first time since the inception of the race in 2011 in Tauplitz, Austria and debuts at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, UT as the last stop on the tour.

Alan Alborn, head coach and program manager for the Park City Nordic Ski Club (PCNSC) and head coach and athletic program manager for the Women’s Ski Jumping team learned of the Red Bull 400 events in Europe and knew immediately, that he wanted to bring the event to the Utah Olympic Park. Alborn, a three-time Olympian, competed on the Nordic ski jump “normal hill” and “large hill” during the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Let’s just say he has a personal passion for these Nordic Ski Jumps.

“Given the unique situation of working with a club and national team, I see every day the need for exposure in order for the sport to grow and reach a higher level. The Red Bull 400 was something I thought was a perfect fit to show what our club program and terrific venue can offer,” said Alborn.

Alborn suggested the idea over a year ago to Red Bull and the Utah Olympic Park, and after a great deal of planning, the event will finally come to fruition on September 26, 2015.

Proceeds from the U.S. debut of the Red Bull 400 at the Utah Olympic Park will benefit the Utah Olympic Park’s in-house program, PCNSC.

PCNSC, winner of the 2015 USSA Club of the Year, has produced one of the strongest women’s ski jumping teams in the world as well as fielded the first ever Women’s Ski Jumping Olympic team made up of Sarah Hendrickson, Lindsey Van, and Jessica Jerome.

“The international success of an athlete like Sarah Hendrickson speaks volumes about the opportunities that the Utah Olympic Park facility and PCNSC provide for local athletes,” said Alborn. “I’m thrilled we are going to host the Red Bull 400 in support of PCSNC and this amazing facility.”

What can a participating athlete expect from the 400 meter course at the Utah Olympic Park?

Participants will compete in heats of up to 50 runners. The top 50 times per division will go on to compete in the finals. Participants will climb the hill and ski jump in-run with no assistance of stairs nor can they touch, grab, or hold onto the sidewalls of the jump.

“The K120 Nordic ski jump, the race course at the Utah Olympic Park, has a 36 degree incline at its steepest point and a total altitude gain of 528 feet. It’s quite a challenge even for elite athletes that run the stairs for training. Take the stairs out of the equation and it really becomes a full body challenge,” said Jamie Kimball, Park Operations Manager.

The Grand Prize for 1st place men’s and women’s participants is an all-inclusive to trip to a secret location in Europe alongside the winners of other the six global locations.

Registration is available online at RedBull400.com.

Alpine Slide

DSC_0105Where can you go to feel the wind in your hair, relaxing and exciting mountain views, but excitement and nostalgia all at the same time?

Obviously, the Utah Olympic Park!

There are things for every age and personality. If you’ve got the smaller kids with you, on of the best activities I have tried at the Olympic Park was the Alpine Slide. It’s perfect for you and your little one to ride together, or if you have the teenagers with you they can go on their own. It might even be a fun stop for your adventure seeking grandma or grandpa! To each their own.

You first ride up on the most relaxing chairlift ride. Here is the calm—mountain breeze, scenes of Park City below, Extreme zipliners flying past you above the Nordic jumps, and perhaps if you’re lucky enough you’ll see some wildlife! gravity zonecomet shoot 259

Upon arriving to the top and waiting in line to go, you start to feel the buzz of excitement. The Olympic Park employees will give you some instructions on what to do and before you know it, you are sitting in the drivers seat flying down the silver track.

The ride is—smooth, comfortable, and with straightaways, drops, and 18 banked turns, who wouldn’t have fun?!

 

Fast or slow the Alpine Slide is a thrill! Give it a go, trust me you won’t regret it!gravity zonecomet shoot 324

Fastest Ice on Earth

What makes the Oval ice the “Fastest Ice on Earth?”IMG_2406

The Utah Olympic Oval is no ordinary ice rink. The Oval takes up twice the square footage of a standard hockey rink and unlike a standard ice rink, the Oval needs spot on measurements to ensure the preciseness of the speed skating races. The installation of the ice is a time intensive process which takes multiple weeks to complete, beginning on July 16 and then open to the public on August 1. In order to set the ice, the base of concrete has to be lowered to a temperature of 17°F over a period of two days. Cracks can develop in the concrete if the cooling process is rushed. After the concrete is cooled then multiple steps are taken to layer the ice and paint in the final touches.

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During the World Cup events each year, the Oval can seat up to 4,000 viewers around the ice. The Utah Olympic Oval IMG_2403houses some of the biggest Zambonis in the world having an 8 foot blade compared to a standard Zamboni with just over a 6 foot blade. The size of these Zambonis allows resurfacing the Oval’s ice quick and efficient. All of these factors plus the hard work of the Oval staff, help maintain the title of the ‘Fastest Ice on Earth’.

Frozen 5K + 10K

The Fastest Ice On Earth

We are excited for the 3rd Annual Frozen 5K + 10K indoor race on Saturday, August 1! Beat the heat and your previous running record! Run and race around the “Fastest ice on Earth!”

Temperatures in the Utah Olympic Oval are kept at 63-53 degrees, perfect for racing! Not too hot and not too cool. Hope to see you all there!

For more information about the Frozen 5K + 10K click HERE.

Psicobloc Climbing Wall

No doubt this summer has been a scorcher thus far. I’m a big believer in getting my workout in, in the outdoors to enjoy all the awesome scenery Utah has to offer. Some afternoons are just too hot to ride my bike, hike, or run outside! And for some of us, getting up early to beat the he2015-07-15 15.37.21-2at isn’t quite that easy.

The Utah Olympic Park gives you the chance to outdoor climb on their Psicobloc climbing wall. You know what’s even better? You climb over a pool. That’s right, a pool!

There are easy, medium, and hard routes you can climb. Once getting to the top, or however high you want to go, you jump off and land into the cool, refreshing pool. I won’t lie; my first time climbing to the top of the wall and looking down to jump gave me the butterflies. No, no, it wasn’t the butterflies. I    had the whole zoo in my stomach before I made the jump down into the pool!

What a rush! Perfect for a hot, summer day. The climbing wall at the Park is an awesome way to get your workout in and have fun outdoors.

While climbing, Freestyle lessons and practices are ongoing next to you in another section of the pool. Once getting to the top of the climbing wall, if you can hold on a little longer, you can watch the skiers and boarders fly off the jumps for a cool perspective from the wall!2015-07-15 15.38.25

You can spend most of a day, 10 am to 6 pm, and climb for only $20. A pool and rock climbing at the same time? Double the fun for the price of one!

Olympic Park employee, Chris, was telling us all about the climbing competition they host at the Park on Wednesday, August 5 to Friday, August 7. It’s called the Psicobloc Master Series. I will definitely be going to that event to watch awesome climbers compete over the pool! Learn more about the CLIMBING WALL and PSICOBLOC EVENT.

 

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Don’t Look Down!

After working as a Mountain Adventures Guide for a whole summer and having gone on all of the Park’s activities too many times to count, the Drop Tower continues to rattle IMG_2687my nerves. There is something that always freaks me out about looming 65 feet above ground. Nevertheless, the Drop Tower endures as my favorite activity at the Park.

In early July in Park City the last remnants of snow are melting away and hibernating until we welcome Fall once again. Even with all of the snow gone there is still a plethora of ways to have fun. You can’t go wrong heading to the Utah Olympic Park for a day and checking out what the Park has to offer. Most of the traffic in the Park occurs on the zip lines and Alpine Slide leaving the Trackside Plaza as a hidden gem with adrenaline pumping activities such as the Drop Tower.

You can head to the Drop Tower by walking towards the bobsled track down IMG_2674from the Alf Engen Ski Museum. There will be a trail hanging to the left of the parking lot and will eventually lead you under the bobsled track and the Drop Tower will be right there. Once there go to the tent and have a Mountain Adventures Guide help you harness up. When the guides give you the go ahead, walk up the Bridges Trail up to the ‘Birds Nest’.

The ‘Birds Nest’ is where the course begins. From here I could feel the excitement pumping. Once hooked to the cable and the guides gave me the OKAY, all I had to do IMG_2675 was lift up my feet and zip line began. No one will blame you if you let out a yell or shriek a bit. The zip line is one of the most scenic views of the park. While in mid air you have time to turn your head and take in the views from the treetops under your feet to the bobsled track surrounding you. Suddenly I got stopped and a friendly face was there to pull me onto the tower. However, within a minute I got the realization that I had to step off of this 65 foot tower once again.

On the Drop Tower there is only one way to get down, taking a step. Even though I wanted to act like a baby and wimp out, I knew I had to go down. After I listened to the guide IMG_2685 give instructions on how to safely and properly repel off the tower, I headed over to the platform. I was all ready to step off, but I made a mental mistake and looked down. When looking down at all of the tiny people I got sick to my stomach. I quickly took a step back and rethought through my situation. In my mind, I asked myself, “Can I just stay up here for a couple days?”. I gutted it out and once again stepped towards the platform. The guides were ready and I felt as though I was too. I clenched the rope as tight as I possibly could and took a big step. My stomach turned upside down and I had a surge of adrenaline go through me. Before I even knew it I landed on the ground. I was alive, and it felt great! Its hard to beat that sense of accomplishment and pride that I was ableIMG_2681 to step off. Even though that may have been my 100th time stepping off of that platform it felt as great as the first time I ever did it. My advice to anyone that is thinking about doing the Drop Tower is do it!

But take my advice, DONT LOOK DOWN!