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Utah Olympic Park bobsleigh/luge/skeleton track: Wikis

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Coordinates: 40°42′28″N 111°33′50″W / 40.70778°N 111.56389°W / 40.70778; -111.56389

Looking up at the track from the bottom

The Utah Olympic bobsleigh/luge/skeleton track is a bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track located in Park City, Utah. Part of the Utah Olympic Park, it hosted the bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton events for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Contents

History

In 1991, Salt Lake City lost out by four votes to Nagano, Japan for the 1998 Winter Olympics.[1] Two years earlier, the Olympic Park, then known as the Utah Winter Sports Park, had been built in an effort to earn the Winter Olympics.[2] Construction of the track began on June 3, 1994 and was completed on December 28, 1996.[3] During the track construction in 1995, Salt Lake City was awarded the 2002 Winter Olympics.[1] The track had its first run at the tourist start with luger Jon Owen performing that honor on January 10, 1997 with the official opening occurring on January 25 of that year.[3] The first bobsleigh World Cup competition took place in November 1998 and the track continues to play host to all three sliding sports in World Cup competition after the 2002 Winter Olympics. During the 2002 games, the track hosted 74,187 bobsleigh spectators, 14,860 skeleton spectators, and 64,104 luge spectators.[4]

Track technical details

Looking at bobsled/skeleton start and men's luge start

Costing USD 25 million to construct, the track uses 297,000 watts of track lighting, 62 water hydrants, 24 cameras, eight scoreboards, and 49 timing points.[3] Open from October to the end of February annually, the track takes a total of 18 days to ice down to the required thickness needed to run sliding events.[3] The track holds 54 miles (90 km) of piping with 110,000 pounds (49, 895 kg) of ammonia refrigeration able to keep the track to -14 deg F (-25 deg C).[3][5] During operating season, a nine-man crew smooths the track every day.[5] A total of 59 temperature probes are located throughout the track to ensure the ice temperature is properly monitored.[3] Throughout the track, a USD1 million retractable shading system protects the course from sun and snow, which reduces energy usage by 25 percent and the need to clear the track from snow.[3] Because of the track's location, the Park remains home to elk, moose, deer, birds, and small mammals.[3]

Statistics

Physical statistics
Sport[3] Length (meters) Turns Vertical drop (start to finish) Average grade (%)
Bobsleigh and skeleton 1335 15 103.5 7.80
Luge - men's singles 1316 17 106 8.10
Luge - women's singles/ men's doubles 1140 12 77 6.80

The turn names were given by John Morgan during Speed Channel's World Cup bobsleigh coverage on December 17 and December 23, 2006.[6][7] All curves shown are bobsleigh curves. Men's singles' luge joins after turn two while women's singles and men's doubles luge joining after turn three. Turns 1, 2, 3, 13, and 15 do not have turn names. The section between curves 14 and 15 is the fastest, leading into a long finish straight that was referred by Morgan as the "Graveyard" section because you could lose both time and speed if you hit the walls leading to that turn.

Turns
Turn number Name Reason named
4. Sunny corner Sunniest part of the track.
5. Snowy corner Snowiest part of the track.
6., 7., 8., 9., 10. Albert's alley
11. Wasatch After the Wasatch Range in Utah.
12. Olympic After the Winter Olympics.
14. Finish Curve After the curve before the finish straight and the actual finish curve of Turn 15.
Track records
Sport Record Nation - athlete(s) Date Time (seconds)
Bobsleigh - two-woman[8] Start  Canada - Kaillie Humphries & Heather Moyse 14 November 2009 5.22
Luge - men's singles[9] Track Markus Prock -  Austria 11 February 2002 44.271
Luge - women's singles[9] Track Sylke Otto -  Germany 13 February 2002 42.940
Luge - men's doubles[9] Track  Germany - Patric Leitner & Alexander Resch 15 February 2002 42.953

Up until 2009, the track was considered the "world fastest ice" and was where American luger Tony Benshoof set the highest recorded luge speed of 86.6 miles per hour (139.4 km/h) on October 16, 2001 that made the Guinness Book of World Records.[5][10] Benshoof's speed record was eclipsed by Germany's Felix Loch on February 21, 2009 at the 2008-09 Luge World Cup season finale at the Whistler Sliding Centre in British Columbia, Canada when Loch reached a top speed of 153.98 kilometres per hour (95.68 mph).[11]

Championships hosted

References

  1. ^ a b Gamesbids.com archives of past awards of Olympic Games. - accessed January 30, 2008.
  2. ^ History of Utah Olympic Park - accessed January 29, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Utah Olympic Park track information - accessed January 29, 2008.
  4. ^ 2002 Winter Olympics official report, Volume 1. pp. 85-86. - accessed January 29, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c "Ice". Modern Marvels. February 11, 2007.
  6. ^ "Park City Two-woman". Bobsleigh 2006-07 World Cup. December 17, 2006.
  7. ^ "Park City Two-man". Bobsleigh 2006-07 World Cup. December 23, 2006
  8. ^ Martini and Logsch take World Cup opener at the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (13 November 2009 news accessed 14 November 2009.)
  9. ^ a b c USALuge.org tracks. - Click on Park City, Utah track and scroll down for track records on luge track records. Accessed January 31, 2008.
  10. ^ United States Olympic Committee profile of Tony Benshoof for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. - accessed January 30, 2008.
  11. ^ David Möller realizes his first victory of the season. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (22 February 2009 article accessed 22 February 2009.)
  12. ^ FIL World Luge Championships men's single results since 1955

External links

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