Pretending to be an Olympian at Whistler Olympic Park
Have you spent the past three days obsessed with Olympic winter sports that you haven’t thought about since the last Olympics? Ever wonder what it would be like to ski past the Olympic rings? Fly on the skeleton or bobsleigh? Or literally fly through the air on a ski jump? Did you know you can try your hand at these Olympic sports relatively close to home in Whistler? It’s true, and we’ve done it!
To start with, Whistler Olympic Park is a fantastic place to cross country ski. A legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympic games, they have 90 km of groomed ski trails and you can even recreate one of the Olympic distances. A word of caution, their blue runs are HARD. Also, note that the Whistler Olympic Park is NOT at Whistler Blackcomb (the downhill ski area and also an Olympic venue), it’s about an hour or so south of there (closer to Vancouver and Seattle).
In addition to enjoying a lovely day of cross country skiing with many Olympic themed photo ops(where you can also take lessons and rent gear), you can take it up a notch and try out a new Olympic sport.
This is a great place to take a biathlon lesson. If you’re not familiar with biathlon, it’s the event where you ski and also shoot at targets. The lesson includes both a skate skiing lesson as well as target practice. You don’t have to ski with the gun like Olympic athletes do, either! And, getting down on the ground with your skis on wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. I never thought learning to do biathlon would be something I would enjoy, but it was really fun and a great experience and the instructors did a great job making everyone feel comfortable.
Killing it on the Olympic Biathlon range
If you want to spend a bit more money and be much more terrified, they also offer an experience in Bobsleigh and Skeleton. I can’t speak for those personally, but if you like to zoom downhill on ice, it would be fun to try.
You can also check out the ski jump, and just standing by it might be enough terror of an experience. At least occasionally they offer ski jump lessons or experiences (an upcoming one was being advertised when we were there).
Dizzying Olympic Ski jump at Whistler Olympic Park