Create Your Own Fitness Challenges at These Former Olympic Sites
Indulge your inner Olympian and get ready for winter games right here in the States.
With the Summer Olympics over, the countdown to the 2018 winter games in PyeongChang, South Korea, has begun. In that spirit, we tracked down offerings at resorts that once hosted the Winter Olympics. Winter workouts extend beyond the slopes, with everything from biathlon to curling to skating. The sites still serve as training grounds for athletes, but ski trails are available for every skill level, and if you’re a newbie to a sport, you can take a lesson.
Whistler, British Columbia
The site of the 2010 Olympics is an easy 2.5-hour drive from Vancouver. Here you can ski the Dave Murray Downhill run on Whistler Mountain, where the men’s alpine races took place (about $175 USD for a two-day pass). You can also explore the Nordic competition sites of Whistler Olympic Park on cross-country skis ($20 for a day pass), or test your marksmanship in biathlon ($57 per lesson, trail ticket not included). Or hurtle down the Whistler Sliding Centre ice track via bobsled or skeleton ($129 each). Too thrilling? Whistler launches its slightly more sedate baseboarding activity this winter, in which you zoom down a snowy course headfirst on a bodyboard ($40 for a full day). Or, for a guaranteed workout, don snowshoes and follow a guide through the ancient forests surrounding the Medicine Trail ($68 for three hours).
Where to stay. In Whistler village, many hotels are within walking distance of the mountains or offer free shuttle service. Nita Lake Lodge offers rooms for less than $150 per night in December and for about $200 in January. At Summit Lodge, some rooms cost less than $120 per night in December.
Salt Lake City, Utah
The Deer Valley, Park City Mountain and Snowbasin resorts—each within an hour’s drive of Salt Lake City—all hosted ski or snowboard events during the 2002 Olympics. At Soldier Hollow, you can glide along Olympic cross-country ski trails ($20 for a day pass) or take a shot at biathlon wearing a bib that was worn during the Olympics (starting at $40). You can curl with the same stones used during the 2002 games at the Utah Olympic Oval ($14 per lesson). Pick up the pace by navigating around 10 curves on a bobsled at Utah Olympic Park ($175).
Where to stay. If you can’t decide among the 10 resorts close to Salt Lake City, base yourself in the city to sample a few. The downtown Hotel Monaco has rooms for less than $150 per night in December and January. Rates at the Little America Hotel start at about $100 per night for the same period. Public transportation, shuttles or UberSki (vehicles with space for equipment) will transport you to the resorts.
Lake Placid, New York
Relive the Miracle on Ice by skating around the arena where the U.S. hockey team beat the heavily favored Soviet team during the 1980 games ($8). Or take a spin on the outdoor speed-skating oval ($8), where Eric Heiden won five golds. Biathlon lessons cost $55, and you can cross-country ski on 31 miles of Olympic trails ($20 for the day). A guided snowshoe hike ($115 for a 1.5 mile trip) takes you to the top of Mount Van Hoevenberg. Or you can whiz down the bobsled track for $95. For plain old alpine skiing, there’s Whiteface Mountain, which has the steepest vertical drop of any ski resort in the eastern U.S.
Where to stay. Most visitors stay at Lake Placid village, eight miles from Whiteface Mountain. (The Albany, N.Y., airport is about a two-hour drive from Lake Placid.) The midrange Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort, on the shores of Mirror Lake, has rooms starting at $89 per night in December. The upscale Whiteface Lodge offers rooms starting at about $250 per night in winter.