Utah Olympic Park - Park City, Utah - Winter Sports Park

Utah Olympic Park is a winter sports park located at Olympic Parkway in Park City, Utah. It is accessible eastbound and westbound from I-80, approximately 28 miles east of downtown Salt Lake City. Admission to the park is free and opens 10am to 6pm daily, but remains closed at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day and Easter.

Originally known as the Utah Winter Sports Park, the facility was part of a plan to bring the Winter Olympic Games to nearby Salt Lake City, which duly happened in 2002. The park, ski jump facilities and freestyle aerials splash pool opened in 1993, whilst the bobsled, skeleton and luge track became operational in 1997. This site hosted 14 events at the 2002 Games including ski jumping, nordic combined, bobsled, luge and skeleton, which brought approximately 300,000 visitors in just 16 days of competition.

Guided tours are facilitated between 11am and 4pm for a fee, whilst group tours can also be arranged between 9am and 5pm. Guided tours take visitors to the top of the world's highest altitude ski jumps and to the world's fastest bobsled, luge and skeleton track, whilst in the summer athletes can be seen training for the winter. The trip also takes in the Alf Engen Ski Museum, which chronicles Utah's ski history, and the 2002 Olympic Exhibit with photos and memorabilia and the Big Air Grill.

Alf Engen was a Norwegian born skier, who emigrated to the U.S when he was 20 and now has a museum named after him located in the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center at the park. The 4,000-square foot museum has a lot of memorabilia and includes a 10 minute film tracing Utah's ski history. There are also games of skill in ski jumping and touch-screen displays.

On the second floor of the Sports Center is the 2002 Eccles Olympic Museum with displays of equipment used by competitors at the Games held here. Visitors will be able to hold an Olympic torch, watch highlights of the Games and view displays from the opening and closing ceremonies. During the summer a 25 minute freestyle aerial show set to music is provided for visitors every Saturday at 1pm.

Visitors are able to try out some of the rides for themselves including the four person bobsled, which can reach speeds of up to 80 miles per hour. The world's steepest zipline is also here sending guests alongside the ski jumping hill at 50 miles per hour. The alpine slide is a steel track that provides a similar experience to sliding down a luge, bobsled or skeleton track.

Entrance to the park includes a self-guided tour of the Olympic competition sites and access to the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center. The park's public buildings are wheelchair accessible and 48 hours advance notice must be given to the Host Desk for individuals interested in the guided bus tour, or with other special needs such as hearing impairment. Registered working service animals that provide rescue assistance or assist persons with disabilities are allowed in the park, but not pets.

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