The winter Olympics start today! So many of the winter sports are some of the things we do every day here in Summit County. Things like alpine and cross country skiing, snowboarding, & riding the rails & the half pipe. We also have many of the past, present & future Olympians pass through town as they compete in their specific events hosted at our local ski resorts. Many of us have had the opportunity to watch these amazing athletes compete in person.
Get a Better Understanding
Winter sports, really all sports, are always more interesting to watch when you have an understanding of the game and can understand the strategies and skills involved. Lindsey Vonn skis slalom at around 80 mph. We don’t generally clock ourselves skiing but with an app on his phone, my husband clocked his speed down one really fast run to see how fast he could ski. He said he was going just over 50 mph. There’s no way I would have wanted to or could have kept up. Based on that, I’m guessing, at my fastest ever I may hit 30 mph, maybe. Lindsey Vonn goes 80. Knowing what 30 feels like gives me so much more appreciation for not only what she does, but how fast she does it.
Half Pipe Appreciation
I have a better appreciation for those athletes that ride the half pipe, getting amazing air and doing tricks. I have skied the half pipe. You won’t see me getting air or even coming close to the top of the pipe. The momentum you get going from one side to the other is so amazing. The steep and icy sides that are so high are absolutely crazy. If you haven’t taken a run down the half pipe, you should put it on your bucket list. At Copper Mountain, if there isn’t an event or practice happening, anyone can ride the pipe. I urge you to go down it. Go only as high up the sides as you feel comfortable. Feel the speed you build as you slide from one side of the pipe to the other. Notice how the sides tower over you. Understand the control & skill these athletes must possess to fly beyond the top, spin around in the air, and land back on the steep sides without wiping out.
Try Winter Sports
While you’re at it, give some of the other Olympic sports a try. If you’ve got the guts, check out Woodward at Copper Mountain. There you can safely launch yourself off a ramp, do an in air trick, and land in a foam pit, all while strapped into your skis or board. Or go a little milder and strap on the skinny skis and head out into the woods or to one of the local Nordic Centers. There is one in Keystone, Frisco and Breckenridge. You may be amazed how different it is from alpine skiing, and appreciate how much energy you exert just to go across a long, flat stretch.
Summit County offers the opportunities to enjoy all these winter sports and so much more. The fun to be had in both winter and summer is endless. Get out and enjoy yourself in Summit County. You’ll be glad you did.