18 ways you can be like an Olympian in Alberta

AP Olympic Image

Photo credit: AP/Frank Franklin ll

Are you feeling withdrawal from the Winter Olympics? Can’t wait for the PyeongChang Paralympics being held March 9 to 18? Olympic fever has spread, and in celebration of the 2018 Winter Games, we’ve got 18 ways you can be like an Olympian.

There are countless places right here in Alberta to test your athletic prowess. For those interested in skiing, skating, curling and more, in the tracks of our local Olympians, check out the list below.

1. Canada Olympic Park in Calgary – Home to the 1988 Calgary Olympics, and the origin of the true stories behind Eddie the Eagle and Cool Runnings, the WinSport park has it all.  You can race down the track on a luge, ski or snowboard down the slopes, or play a game of shiny at the rink.

2. The Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton – Have you ever wanted to curl like the pros? The Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton offers Learn to Curl Clinics as well as Olympic Curling Clinics where you can learn to curl with the best of them.

3. Skate Canada – If you’re looking to learn how to skate, why not go to the official sanctioning body of figure skating in Canada? Skate Canada offers a variety of skating lessons for all ages at various clubs across Alberta.

4. Vermillion Nordic Ski Club – Get out and enjoy the great outdoors and discover the trails where local hometown girl and Olympian Beckie Scott began her athletic journey.

5. Canmore Nordic Centre – Train like the elite at the Canmore Nordic Centre where you can try your hand at the biathlon range, cross-country ski trails, as well as other seasonal activities.

6. Nakiska Ski Area Check out the hill dubbed “Calgary’s Closest Mountain”, which was the site of Karen Percy Lowe’s 1988 bronze medal win and is currently used as a pre-season, in season and post season training facility to athletes from around the world.

7. Provincial Sport Organizations – When it comes to sports in Alberta, there’s no shortage. Alberta Sport Connection provides support to a wide variety of sport organizations for young Albertans to join. Check out the full list.

8. Alberta Sport Connection Development Centre – Emerging high performance athletes can register for camps and programs at one of Alberta’s seven sport development centres, or check out available online resources.

9. Beckie Scott High-Performance Training Centre – Named after Olympic and World Cup Medalist Beckie Scott, this WinSport centre is located on Haig Glacier in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. You can get a drop in pass for the centre, which provides sleeping, training, and cooking huts for Canada’s elite cross-country ski athletes.

10 Lake Louise – Check out the site of the AUDI FIS Ski World Cup in alpine ski racing. The men’s World Cup races take place the last weekend of November and the women’s the first weekend of December. You can show up for the races and cheer on your favourite athletes, or carve some turns on the other runs.

Brady Leman Olympic image

Brady Leman jumps to ski cross gold at PyeongChang2018. Photo by Vaughn Ridley/COC

11. Calgary Alpine Club – For those young Albertans looking to follow in Olympic footsteps, look no further. This ski club is home to not one, but two Olympic athletes, and offers a variety of programs for aspiring young racers.

12. CADS Alberta – This provincial chapter of Canadian Adaptive Snowsports assists individuals with a disability as they participate in recreational and competitive snow skiing and snowboarding. Check out your local zone to see what programs are offered in your area.

13. Freestyle Alberta – Take those freestyle ski skills to the next level with Freestyle Alberta. This organization aims to promote freestyle skiing for people of all ages and to encourage the development of high performance athletes.

14. KidSport – If participating in sports isn’t your thing, but you’d still like to get involved, why not give to an organization that works to keep kids playing organized sports? Whether it’s volunteering your time, or a donation, there’s plenty of ways to help KidSport get kids to play in their favourite sports.

15. Volunteer at Special Olympics Alberta – If you’re looking to be a part of the action, you can apply to be a volunteer at the Alberta Special Olympics. You’ll not only witness the excitement, you’ll play an important role in it!

16. Victoria Park Oval – As the home of the Edmonton Speed Skating Association, the Victoria Park Oval is the perfect place for those with a need for speed. This Olympic size track is the perfect place to try out your speed skating skills.

17. Ice Palace FSC – Practice your grace and agility at the homes of the Ice Palace Figure Skating Club in West Edmonton Mall and Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre. Skate on the practice ice of Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalist Kaetlyn Osmond, and channel your inner Olympian.

18. Alberta Bobsleigh – Have you ever wondered how to get involved with a sport like bobsleigh? Alberta Bobsleigh provides a variety of opportunities to get involved and learn the ins and outs of this fast-paced sport at Canada Olympic Park.

Of course, this is just a sample of the many opportunities out there to be active and have fun with sport. Whether at an Olympic, Paralympic, or beginner level, there’s always benefits to leading an active lifestyle!

Be sure to tune in to the Paralympic games on March 9 to cheer on your favourite athletes and catch all the excitement. Canada is sending 55 athletes and will be featured in all five Paralympic Winter Games sports. If you’re jonesing for sports in the meantime, you can check out ways to get involved in your local community.

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