The last stop on my audio tour was at the top of the 90' ski jump. One of the many interesting facts that I learned was that this jump that was created for and used in the 1988 Winter Olympics can no longer host competitions for the best athletes. When it was created the ability of the jumpers and quality of the equipment was not as advanced as it is today, 18 years later. The problem is that the jumpers have improved so much that if the best in the world were to jump today they would overshoot the landing hill and land on the flat portion of the landing area, thus injuring themselves. Because of this, Canada Olympic Park is in the process of digging out 'the bowl' where the jumpers land and extending the landing hill.
This picture is taken from the top of the jump. The metal piece you can see at the bottom of the picture is the seat where the jumpers sit before pushing themselves off and speeding down the takeoff ramp. To give you an idea of how high up we are and how far these guys travel, do you see the small yellow dot in the upper right area of the picture? That is a full size digger with a dump truck in front of it! That my friends, is a long way up!!!
This is a picture of the jumps from below. Wow! Unlike the bobsled and luge, you could not pay me enough to try out this sport! They say it's one of the safest sports around and you're never more than 5 meters from the ground but I'll just take their word for it! The only flying I want to do is in a jet...preferrably on the way to China!
I mentioned in an earlier post about Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards and how he jumped for Britain. He'd only been jumping for a year and a half before the Olympics and I remember him saying all he was hoping to do was survive the 90m hill!
I have a picture of his helmet but will post it later...blogger is up to it's old antics and not letting me post any pics.
My day at Olympic park finished up with a couple of trips to the top of the hill and back on the ski lift. What a beautiful sight as it overlooks the city!
The hills are used for motorcross biking in the summer and the ski lifts have been modified to carry the bikes up. It was really busy when I was there on a Wednesday afternoon. I can't imagine what it would be like on the weekend or in the summer!
I hope you've enjoyed this brief trip to Canada Olympic Park. As you can tell, it was something I really enjoyed and would like to do again in the winter sometime when other athletes might be training.