4.5 Gs of ‘fun’ at Canada Olympic Park

I spent several hours recently at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary for a Globe story. It’s only 15 minutes from downtown, and so close to the highway that you can see skiers while you’re driving by. Ski jumping in Canada Olympic ParkI’m sure the park was in the boonies when it was built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, but now the suburbs have reached it. Adrenalin junkies can get their fix in all seasons here. In the winter: skiing, snowboarding (including a pipeline for those who dare), and bobsleigh rides that hit 4.5 Gs. In the summer there’s  luge rides and major mountain biking. Or how about, year-round, a zip line that reaches speed of up to 75 mph (= 120 km/h)? To all this I have to say: yuck.

Diane sits in bobsleighBeing a weenie, I took the audio tour. The audio tracks were fantastic, using interviews and sound effects to really put you in the athletes’ minds and settings. Unfortunately the equipment and technology had many failings, but the park is working to improve it. I did get to sit in a bobsleigh (woo-hoo!), watch ski jumpers, and also interviewed several bobsleigh riders for my article. 

Here’s what one of them, Calgarian Rob Ingram, said: “It starts out like a fast roller coaster then progresses to a hurtling freight train, and sounds like one too. It was deafening as we reached terminal speed (120 km/h). The bumps make focusing difficult and the 4.5 G force in the corners pushes you down in your seat and slams your head against the sled.”

Gross.

Bobsleighing in Canada Olympic ParkThen, and this cracks me up, Rob goes on to say: “It was very fun, especially the Kreisel Corner, the 270-degree corner (the most G-force). I ended up with short-term stiffness in my neck and shoulders from the pounding.”

Excuse me, Rob. It was “very fun”? Are you insane? Well, he did used to drag race, so he clearly has the adrenalin gene. Rob was there for his 53rd birthday. Happy Birthday, eh?

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One Response to “4.5 Gs of ‘fun’ at Canada Olympic Park”

  1. alice Says:

    I liked this article. Very fun? Definitely insane. I’m sticking to biking in 100 degree weather with no shade and a kid attached to my bike. At least there’s the possibility of a Good Humor truck somewhere.

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