Sunday, November 17, 2013

Speedskating Saturday

We are in a about a five-week stretch on which we have no sports on Saturdays. Soccer ended two weeks ago, and Michael's Saturday basketball games don't start for another month. So what did we do today? Attended a sporting event, of course.

A World Cup speedskating event is taking place at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns -- the same oval the speedskating events were held on during the 2002 Games. Admission was dirt cheap, and the boys were interested, especially after trying ice skating for the first time last Saturday. We arrived a little late but still got to see three whole events, including the men's 1,000 meters that American Shani Davis won. The atmosphere was relaxed yet still fun; fans cheered for all the athletes, there was entertainment between events while the Zambonis repaved the ice, and the action on the oval was easy to follow and understand.

Utah is hosting more winter sports events in the next couple months, including the U.S. Olympic speedskating trials, bobsled/luge/skeleton races and the Olympic ski jumping trials. We discussed maybe trying to see the ski jumping trials -- the sport was one Lori and I saw during the 2002 Olympics. My little fear, especially with the Winter Olympics coming up and us being so close to facilities and programs, is that one of the boys sees something and wants to try it, even just casually. I have this image in my mind of Michael wanting to skeleton, which is head-first luge. I know, it probably wouldn't happen, but I'm happy that we live in a place that the boys can watch the Winter Olympics and we can see some of the same sports live.

As we left the Oval, the air was cold and the skies cloudy. I could see snow on the mountains, probably about 7,000 feet up. The original structure designating the Oval as an Olympic venue still stands. I couldn't help but feel like it was 2002 again and Lori and I were at an Olympic event. The Games may never get back to Utah, but at least for one afternoon, the boys got to share a little bit of our memory of that winter.

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