PARK CITY, Utah – The Utah Olympic Park in Park City finished renovating its facilities, and on Saturday they opened ski ramps to the public to celebrate the last days of summer. But participants were not required to wear skis this time, and instead they were able to go down in true slip 'n slide style.
Directors of the improved Olympic Park say they’re really excited about the new ramps and wanted to give the public a chance to try them out.
“I just did a front flip, and I fell straight on my face, but it was awesome,” said Zack Hable, a participant.
Usually, athletes wear skis when they train. But Saturday, members of the public were allowed to slip 'n soar down the jumps. Employees equipped the runs with a special synthetic material so they could slide down.
“We do a lot of intense training, and this is play time now, so, it’s pretty grand,” said freestyle aerial Olympic champion Danielle Scott, from Australia.
The park underwent a $4 million renovation this year, including revamping all the ski jumps and upgrading to a million-gallon pool.
“We basically had three, they were wooden ramps before–they were built back in the 90’s–so they were quite old, so in renovating them, we’ve added all new steel-reinforced ramps, a lot safer and a lot more efficient–that way we’ve upped our capacity, we can get a lot more athletes practicing here in the summers,” said Utah Olympic Park Marketing Manager Melanie Welch.
Directors wanted to give the public a chance to participate rather than just observe the athletes performing.
“People that wouldn’t think they would ever get to go off the jumps get a new way to kind of experience the jumps, maybe a little less intimidating than wearing a pair of skis,” said Marc Norman, Vice President of Sport and Venues for the Olympic Legacy Foundation.
Those who participated say they were excited to try it.
“It’s so much fun,” Hable said.
“It’s water world on steroids,” said Walter Wood, another participant.
The Utah Olympic Park’s fall hours are September 11 through October 25. Other fall adventures include zip lining, ropes courses, a chairlift ride and more. For more information, visit their website.