Freestyle Intro Session: 4 Questions You Will Ask Yourself

Utah Olympic Park during the summers is best known for its Flying Ace All-Star Show on Saturdays and Sundays. The cool thing about the park is you don’t just have to be a spectator—it’s actually a training facility meant to be enjoyed by not only professional athletes but also the public.

Anyone above the age of seven anyone can attend our Freestyle Intro Session as long as you can ski and swim. For just $95 per person, you’ll get two hours with dedicated coaches to teach you the basics of freestyle skiing off ramps into the new Spence Eccles Olympic Freestyle Pool. The session fee includes a wet suit, helmet, life jacket, and skis with boots. However, you are welcome to bring your equipment.

You’ll begin the two-hour session with an introduction video then promptly receive all the equipment you’ll need for the day. After the coaches help you with the equipment, they take over to a practice ramp to help you understand the basics of how to start your decent down the ramp and approach the jump. When you’ve done a couple of practice runs and the coaches deem you ready for the pool, off you go!

I was fortunate enough to be a part of one of the first sessions this year. I admit, I was a bit nervous walking up the steps to the ramp because I didn’t really know what to expect. Questions I asked myself:

“Am I ready to go off these ramps?”
“How cold is the pool?”
“How fast will I get going?”
“Can I hurt myself doing this?”

However, it was comforting knowing the coaches are there to make sure you’re safe, give you tips, and cheer you on.
Once you go down, the nerves goes away because you realize what you are doing is actually really safe. They have lights to signal when it’s ok to jump so you don’t land on any other riders and as you ride down the ramp bubbles are blown up from below the pool to break the surface tension—in case you are going to have a bad landing.
Freestyle-Intro-Session_Utah-Olympic-Park_Mike-AlderAs I kept going down the ramps into the pool I became more and more comfortable with the approach and take off. When you feel ready to try something new, tell your coaches and they’ll help you out with some pointers on what to do and what not to do. You’re only really limited to how courageous you’re willing to be. There was some guys in my group doing front flips and back flips—I was not as courageous.

Whether you’re coming up for an all-day experience around the park with the Gold Pass or just coming up for a freestyle session, Utah Olympic Park has something for everyone to enjoy. I would highly recommend adding Freestyle Intro Session to your bucket list of things to do!

Sign up to do the Freestyle Intro Session HERE
Get your Gold Pass HERE

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Mike Alder

 

Mike Alder is a Marketing Intern at Utah Olympic Park. He is also a Student at University of Utah studying Business Marketing graduating in December. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn

 

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Public Climbing Wall: Can You Take the Plunge?

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The Utah Olympic Park just finished hosting it’s 2nd Psicobloc Master Series.  Some of the best climbers from around the world showed up last week to compete in this deep-water soloing competition.  After seeing the fearless athletes climb the 50 foot wall, as a spectator, you can’t help but wonder what it would feel like to drop in from the Psicobloc wall.  Lucky for those who want to experience the thrill, the Utah Olympic Park has opened the climbing wall for the public to use!

Bring your swimsuit, or clothes that can get wet, because you will most certainly be making a plunge into the Aerials Pool.  You will also want to make sure to bring your own climbing shoes.  Once you have your shoes on and are ready to go, it’s time to get on the wall.  First thing you will want to do is traverse to the start of your climb.  As soon as you are set on your route, there is nowhere to go but up!  It is such a thrilling (and honestly a quite frightening) experience being on the wall without being harnessed into anything.  My advice, DON”T LOOK DOWN!  Just keep looking up for your next move.  Once you reach the top of the climb, it is time to drop.  You will be surprised by how long your body will grip onto the wall if you are scared to make the jump.  Really though, it will give you butterflies! It feels much higher when you are hanging from the top waiting to drop in.  As soon as you get the courage to make the plunge, you will feel a rush of energy as you drop down into the pool.  It is such a crazy feeling free falling off of a climbing wall!  It’s not something you will experience at your every day climbing gym.  And let me tell you something, after doing it once, you will be addicted.  Dry off those shoes and hop back on the wall.  The Olympic Park sells day passes, so you can stay as long as you like from 11am-6pm.  

Go try it out!  Climbing the Psicobloc wall is such a unique and exciting thrill.  The wall will be up until August 24th and is open daily.  

THE DROP TOWER

The other day I had the opportunity to experience one of The Utah Olympic Park’s newer attractions, The Drop Tower.  My little 10 year old sister, Gracie, and my 8 year old cousin, Connor, came along for the ride.  Let me just start by saying, these kids are fearless.  They like to rock climb, ski, and do anything that gets their adrenaline going.  The Drop Tower definitely gave them butterflies in their stomach as they stood 65 feet up in the air, waiting to jump.

The experience starts as you wait for a staff member to get your harness and helmet ready at the base of the Drop Tower.  While waiting, you get to watch as others take that giant leap of faith off the tower, most of them letting out a little scream as they free fall for the first 20 feet.  Once you are all ready to go, it is a short walk to the top where you will zipline to the Drop Tower.  Gracie and Connor had no fear as they soared high above the trees on the zipline towards the Drop Tower.  Once we got to the tower, the staff let us pick between two different lines to drop from.  The orange line lets you free fall for the first 20 feet, while the blue line lowers you down a little slower the whole way.  Feeling confident, Gracie and I chose the orange line and Connor chose the blue.  Gracie was first up to drop.  As she slowly got closer to the edge, you could see her nerves kicking in.  After the staff member told her she was clear to go, she jumped, and everyone around cheered.  Connor and I followed.  The 20 foot free fall at the beginning definitely gives you a rush.  It was quite the thrilling experience.  Though it can be a challenge to willingly step off a 65 foot tower, it is worth it!  If you have a chance to try it out this summer, do it!  It was such a fun experience.

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Gracie and Connor waiting to zipline to the Drop Tower

Featured Activity of the Week: Guided Tour!

Led by a trained and informative guide, the guided tour is a great way to explore the entire park, gain some knowledge about the park’s history and learn how it was built.
The tour starts with a visit to the Aerials Pool, where guests can watch aspiring athletes train- trying out new tricks and flips off the jumps. After loading onto the tour bus, guests are taken to the Nordic Center, where the base of the Nordic Ski Jumps and Discovery Adventure Course are located and the Freestyle and Extreme Zip Lines end. Often, tour groups are able to watch ski jump athletes in training on the hill.
Guests are then shuttled to the top of the bobsled track. From the men’s luge start house visitors are able to look down the track, gaining an athlete’s perspective. As a grand finale, guests get to visit the top of the nordic ski jumps and learn some tips and tricks that are used during athlete training.
The guided tour is great for people and families of all ages and abilities. At approximately an hour long, it’s a great introduction to Utah Olympic Park and all of the activites here.
The tour runs hourly from 11 am to 3 pm, seven days a week. Tickets can be purchased online here or in the Quinney Welcome Center and are $10 for adults, $7 for kids and seniors.

Want to stay connected?

What is the best way to know about all of the events we have going on at our facilities? Stay connected!

Follow us on Twitter! @UtahOlympicPark and @UtahOlympicOval
Like us on Facebook! Utah Olympic Park and Utah Olympic Oval
Or check our our excellent visual media via Flickr and YouTube!

Following our social media is a great way to hear about upcoming deals and events and to stay updated on the current goings-on of the facilities! We’d love to hear back from you so make sure you leave comments or tweet at us.

Why should you get a Seasons Pass?

We think that the best way to spend summers in Park City than challenging yourself over the Adventure Courses or testing your mental strength on the Drop Tower. The only thing that can top that is unlimited access to the Park any day of the week any week of the season. 2014 Adult + Youth Seasons Passes now available.

What does a Seasons Pass get you?

  • Unlimited rides on both of the Zip Lines and the Alpine Slide
  • As many times as you can climb through our Adventure Courses
  • Chairlift rides and access to the hiking trails all season long
  • The ability to add a Summer Comet Bobsled Ride at 20% off regular rate.

It will pay for itself in just three uses! So in three visits can you:

  • Beat your record time climbing though the Canyon Ropes Course?
  • Convince yourself to give the 65 ft. Drop Tower a go?
  • Do the Extreme Zip Line without closing your eyes at the start?

Click Here to purchase your 2014 Seasons Pass online now!

UOP on a Budget

What is the least expensive way to learn the Legacy of the Utah Olympic Park? Many people are unaware of what the Park has to offer without a cost. To begin with, the parking and admission to the Park are free! Once you’re up here there are plenty of things you can do without spending a dime.

Museums
Both museums are open daily from 10am-6pm and are located in the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center. The Alf Engen Ski Museum and Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museums are fun, educational and interactive. From the beginning of Utah skiing history to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, the learning opportunities are abundant. If you want to learn about avalanches and snow conditions or the history of the ski boot, it’s all there. But don’t worry, the interactive games and activities keep the exhibitions fun and upbeat for any age group. Don’t forget to take a picture with our life-size bobsled and skiier statue on your way out!

Tour Yourself
Take yourself on a walk through the Park, see all of the training facilities, and feel the magnitude of Olympic Sport. Treat yourself to seeing the Freestyle Pool where athletes of all ages train to become the next best aerial skiier. If you’re lucky, there will be athletes practicing while you’re there! Travel down the hill to the base of the Nordic Ski Jumps where the monstrous K64, K90, and K120 meter jumps show the magnitude of what it means to be a Nordic Ski Jumper. This is also where the base of many of our summer activities such as our Zip-Lines and Alpine Slide are located. Just on the other side of the park is the site of the Luge, Bobsled and Skeleton events during the 2002 Winter Games. Head over there for the chance to watch a bobsled zoom past.

Freestyle Lift and Hiking Trail
Once you’ve gotten to the bottom of the hill where you see the Nordic jumps, grab a complementary ticket and jump on the Freestyle Ski Lift and take a scenic ride to our hiking trail. This short trail recommends close-toed shoes,  but is friendly to all ages and abilities. It winds through the beautiful Utah nature and will bring you back to the Visitors Center.