Inspired by the Winter Games? Take a lesson in Olympic sports

Inspired by the Winter Games? Take a lesson in Olympic sports

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SUMMIT COUNTY -- It's easy to feel inspired after watching someone like Apolo Ohno at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to actually hit the ice?

Utah is home to world-class facilities since hosting the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Many people are finding this is the perfect time to lace up their skates or strap on their skis.

It's become a ritual for families all over the world the past week: tuning in for any and every Olympic event. Many are taking their fire for games straight to the canyons.

Six-year-old Luke Zeller says he's on his way to Olympic gold.

"I'm such a good skier, and I may get gold," Luke said. "I don't know, maybe."

He flew down this practice timing run at Deer Valley in just over 19 seconds.

And every night, he and his dad, John Guay, watch Olympians on TV, dreaming he could be the next Bode Miller.

"An event like this kind of piques the interest in skiing," Guay said. "It looks fun on TV, everybody wants to go do it."

Deer Valley has seen a spike in learn-to-ski lessons during the Olympics. Many newcomers feel inspired after watching Americans make it on the podium.

Skiier Judy Patterson jokingly said she wants to be like Lindsey Vonn after watching the Olympics. "Every night we enjoy it. I really enjoyed watching the downhill, and the ice skating has been fun, too."

Olympic fever has spread from skiing to skating. At Utah's Olympic Oval, the phones have been ringing nonstop, particularly with requests about lessons for one sport.

Ann Pearson said the class 'Learn to Curl' "is actually exploding right now with popularity as well."

Whether you have dreams of grabbing gold or just having fun, there's something for every level.

Just ask Luke, who offered this advice for beginning skiers: "Bend your knees when you turn, and keep your hands in front, and stab before you turn."

The Oval offers classes for ice skating, speed skating, hockey and, yes, curling.

Oval representatives said curling is becoming a popular Friday night date, because everyone can try it -- you don't even have to know how to skate because you wear shoes.



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Jennifer Stagg


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