Try Olympic sports yourself

25th February 2010, by Chris Gill

Ski jumping, anyone?

Ski jumping, anyone?

Various Austrian resorts offer visitors the opportunity to try Olympic sports for themselves. And as a former Winter Olympic host to the 1964 and 1976 Games, Innsbruck is keen to promote the region’s facilities.

Bobsleigh

The small ski resort of Igls is home to the bobsleigh course, open to public groups. You can have a go with a fully trained driver from 30 euros (the course is open twice weekly). And Igls also has an Olympic downhill course, famous for Franz Klammer’s win in 1976.

There are bobsleighing venues elsewhere too – in France at La Plagne, for example. The centre below La Plagne 1800 offers a choice of descent, from four-man rides to a singular mono-bob; all of which hurtle down the course at break-neck speeds.

Biathlon

How about shooting things while cross-country skiing? Biathlon combines cross-country skiing with using a rifle at various target ranges. A new centre in Seefeld offers two-hour lessons and rental equipment from 63 euros. (www.xc-academy.com)

Ski jumping

Want to fly like Eddie the Eagle? Innsbruck’s Olympic ski jump hill is clearly visible on the outskirts of the city, but to try this sport head for the SkiWelt. There is a new jump area at Wörgl, near Hopfgarten, with a 15m jump. Every Friday instructors take out visitors for three hours to teach them the basics. You need to be a blue-run skier minimum to try it though. It costs 50 euros per person, including rental equipment. Wörl isn’t new to ski jumping; the village has had a jump since 1908, and hosted FIS events. Three smaller jumps were built (of different lengths) in 2008.



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