I am fascinated by the extreme sports in the Winter Olympics. Every time I watch, I wonder how those people get the courage to actually go for it the first time. While I am super impressed with all of these events there is one that has actually called to me and I have often dreamed of giving it a shot. So I did….
The bobsled has always appealed to me. I was fascinated by this sport long before “Cool Runnings” was released. It just looks so fun and exciting. Lucky for me Utah Olympic Park offers bobsled rides on the actual competition track from the 2002 Winter Olympics.
This is an intense experience. From the minute you sign up to participate this is repeated many times. The Comet actually picks up so much speed and has so many sharp turns that riders encounter significant G Forces. Once you sign all of the waivers and participate in a mandatory orientation, a shuttle bus takes the riders up to the top of the run where helmets are issued and safety is reviewed one final time.
I was assigned the second position directly behind the pilot (driver) and instructed many times to do my best to not bang my head against the head of the pilot since this would be a distraction and he was driving. OK, sure. The descent started at a reasonable pace and quickly picked up speed. The earlier description of intense was truly an understatement. This was 60 seconds of fast, downhill, jerking side to side, head banging fun that I absolutely loved. My fellow riders and I had never seen each other before and probably never will see each other again but we embraced with adrenaline after the ride with high fives and big hugs. I was definitely banged up for a couple of days after the ride, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.