In need of an adrenaline rush, our visit to the resort town of Whistler, BC could not have come at a better time. Taking in some fun Olympic experiences, we knew that having a run in a bobsleigh was a must do, in addition to trying our hand at the biathlon rifle shooting in Whistler Olympic Park. Summer or winter, you can take part in a bobsleigh experience. The only difference in the summer is that the bobsleigh is equipped with wheels.
Whistler Sliding Centre is home to the world’s fastest bobsled, luge and skeleton track and it is open to the public to try it out too. Fees paid to try out the track go towards maintenance and to lower the training costs athletes have to pay.
Beginning with a safety orientation, we (my sister and I) were thoroughly walked through everything we may need to know, and again were reminded of many safety instructions as we stepped into the bobseligh and were getting ready to take off.
Also included in the orientation was the interesting history of the Whistler Sliding Center as a 2010 Olympic Winter Games Venue. For instance, did you know in the winter the entire track has to be groomed by workers? There are no machines that can do the job properly and get the ice at the proper thickness levels. Also, the amount of ice on the track in the winter is equal to that of FOUR NHL Ice rinks. Pretty impressive!
You get to race around the track, going through 10 corners, including the famous Thunderbird Corner and you’ll find your “Rolling Thunder” team will reach speeds of up to 80 km/hr. It feels like it takes only fractions of a second for the bobsled to reach top speeds as we rolled through each corner. We found it was hard to react fast enough to brace against the forces of the speed as our helmets ricocheted off the side of the sled. This happened quite a few times, making us thankful we were wearing helmets.
We found it interesting that the pilot controlled the bobsleigh from the back of the bobsleigh when it is on wheels. That also meant that I was able to sit right in the front of the bobsleigh and I loved every minute of experiencing first-hand what it would be like to be a passenger, on the same track that Olympic athletes train on and used in the 2010 Olympics.
Our trained pilot, “Snowy” was so talkative and friendly that it also really added to our experience; it definitely upped the level of FUN we felt. We definitely want to try the winter bobsleigh now, as well as a race down the track in a skeleton run.
The track in Whistler is faster, steeper and more intense than any track in history. And, because one run down the track wasn’t enough, we’ll be back!
Cost for 1 bobsleigh ride with pilot is $89 + tax per person. Advanced booking is required.
What Olympic sport would you love to try first-hand?