Previewing the Winter Olympics at Otsego Club

SNOWBOARD Training in Gaylord, Michigan

SNOWBOARD Training in Gaylord, Michigan, photo by MyWheelsareTurning.

If a trip to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics (February 12-28) isn’t in your budget, consider the shorter jaunt to Gaylord next week.

Many of the world’s finest snowboarders are training for the Winter Games at Otsego Club in Gaylord, Michigan. The New York Times reports:

The Otsego Club, a private ski/golf club and resort founded in 1939, has been a good destination for snowboarders, with a terrain park of 45 trails and jumps to complement its 31 downhill runs. This season, it decided to take a chance and spend more than $100,000 to build the halfpipe…

The grounds were reshaped and prepared over the fall, and the architects of Planet Snow built the 500-foot-long, 22-foot-high halfpipe of ice and snow.

The club hoped adding the halfpipe could attract interest, but the general manager, Kris Klay, said the experiment had far exceeded expectations.

“Every day I am getting calls from coaches and athletes asking if they can come here too — do we have room?” Klay said. “We’re going to make the room. This has been an incredible experience for us to host them and for the community to be able to have exposure to this. We feel like we’re so lucky, we’re getting to see a preview of the Vancouver Olympics every day in our own backyard.”

They also have a nice feature on one of the biggest stars you can see there, Gold Medal hopeful Torah Bright. I’ve been told that even more of the top boarders will be in early next week, and my own resident snowboarding expert returned beaming from ear to ear at how he’d been able to board with Olympians, a chance that few get. I believe that the resort is closed to the public on the weekend, so be sure to call ahead!

You can see this photo of Japanese rider Shiho Nakashima larger in Gary’s Gaylord: Olympic Snowboard slideshow and check out his blog about
Walking, Biking, Getting Around in Northern Michigan & Beyond

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