Olympic Stories

Riding the Fast Track to Unforgettable Adventure in Whistler

Olympic StoriesAs Canada’s women’s bobsleigh teams proved with their Olympic gold and silver medal performances on February 24, 2010 at the Whistler Sliding Centre, journeys measured in split seconds can finish with memories that last a lifetime. Now that the 2010 Olympic Winter Games have come and gone, there will be a unique sliding sports legacy for the Whistler community and its visitors. The Whistler Sliding Centre will continue to be a resource for athlete training; and it will also be open to the public for tours, as a venue for special events and to facilitate an exhilarating, high-speed, recreational bobsleigh experience.

For Olympic bobsleigh events, the men compete in two-man and four-man events, and the women compete in two-woman events. At the start of each heat, the racers push off and sprint as fast as they can for approximately 50 metres before they jump into the aerodynamic bobsleigh for a thundering descent down the ice-covered track. The pilot steers the bobsleigh during its high-velocity journey and at the end of the run, the brakeman brings the sled to a safe stop.

bobsledAccording to Paul Shore from Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies, the recreational bobsleigh experience that is being planned at the Whistler Sliding Centre, likely to become available starting in the winter of 2010 / 2011, will be an opportunity to ride down the track in a four-man bobsleigh piloted by an expert driver.  It is estimated that the speeds reached during these rides will be approximately between 120 and 130 kilometres per hour.  It is also estimated that riders will experience approximately 5 G’s of force and that their journey down the track will last about 60 seconds.

Watching a bobsleigh race down the Whistler Sliding Centre track at lightening speeds while trying to imagine what it must feel like for the athletes can be a mind-boggling experience. Discovering that a bobsleigh experience will be accessible to the public at the Whistler Sliding Centre might seem equally baffling. However, thanks to the Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies, it’s true. Apparently the slippery slope is about to become the track more often traveled.

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