Yesterday my son Jamie returned from the Otsego Club near Gaylord with a shirt covered with signatures and a smile the size of a half pipe. The reason? In Northern Michigan, an Olympic Training Hot Spot Has Emerged in the New York Times explains:
When word spread through the woods of northern Michigan that world-class snowboarders had gathered in this little town to train for the coming Winter X Games and the Vancouver Olympics, locals jokingly asked if they had become horribly lost on their way to a real ski resort in Colorado or British Columbia.
But the elite snowboarding world has discovered neither true Alpine conditions nor a chic ski resort are needed for high-level training. All one needs is enough snow to build a 22-foot halfpipe and get the word out.
The Otsego Club in Gaylord built its first Olympic-size halfpipe for this season, and the world’s elite snowboarders are coming in droves to train.
Read on and really think about taking yourself and/or your kids to see real, live Olympians doing what they do best, right here in Michigan!
MyNorth.com shot a sweet video of Olympic snowboarders laying down tricks using the Acrobag – check it out.
While this feature from Michigan Radio dwells overmuch on the dangers of flying 32 feet over rock hard ice, they do have a tremendously sweet video:
About the photo: This photo shows New Zealand rider Ben Stewart launching off of the half-pipe while teammate James Hamilton makes his way up the slope . It was taken by my friend photographer and photojournalist Gary Howe, who also runs a cool blog about alternate modes of transit called My Wheels are Turning.