My kids are cheering wildly. Go Mom, go! What was I thinking? Perched atop the monstrous ski jump tower at Canada Olympic Park (COP), I’m about to fly down North America’s fastest zipline. I’ve had my practice session at the base of the hill but am I ready for speeds up to 140 km/hr (87 mph)? And a vertical drop of more than 100 m (328 ft)?
I suppose it’s all child’s play now, as about an hour ago I hurtled down the bobsleigh track at over 100 km/hr (62 mph). Turn after turn, my initial reservations evaporated as the total exhilaration of this incredible Olympic sport took hold. It was the first part of my Adrenaline Combo package. But at least that ride came with a professional driver.
Athletes of All Ages
Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park was one of the premier facilities built for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. It’s been reinventing itself ever since. Along with the original facilities, the site now houses three indoor skating rinks, the refurbished Ice House and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. A year round facility for athletes in training, the park also happens to be a family favourite for summer fun.
My kids love the mountain biking at COP – the only park in Alberta with lift-access trails. There’s something for every skill level – from pump tracks to jump trails and expert-only runs. The Skills Park features dirt jumps, tables, doubles and obstacles. Bring your own bike and safety gear, or rent everything you need from the onsite rental shop.
The world’s longest luge track, Skyline Luge, is a huge crowd pleaser for all age groups. Running alongside the site’s original Olympic luge track, it’s a fun-filled 1,800 m (5,905 ft) ride of twists and turns dropping over 100 m (328 ft) along the course. Kids under the age of six can join in the excitement by riding tandem with an adult.
Children’s Activity Area
My youngest can’t get enough of the Eurobungy in the Children’s Activity Area. For the entire eight-minute trampoline experience she squeals with delight. Bounce, spin, flip, hoot, holler, repeat. The Climbing Wall and Spider Web – a series of webs that span a ten-floor tower – complete the activities available here.
At the end of the day, slow down your heart rate with a round of mini golf on the professionally designed, outdoor 18-hole course. Remember the winner buys dinner, so head over to COP’s family-friendly EightyEight Lounge for a bite after the game. My thrilling and somewhat hair-raising flight down the zipline has spiked more than just my adrenalin. I can almost hear EightyEight’s juicy hamburger calling my name.