It’s All Downhill for Champlain Bobsledders

Brendon Johnson ’16 / Champlain College News

LAKE PLACID, NY – Three… two… one… we started to move forward as the last of our four-person bobsled crew jumped into the back of the sled just as we hurtled down the icy track at Whiteface Mountain where Olympians raced for the gold in 1980. The adrenaline was pumping as neared the top speed of 50 mph, through every twist and turn we continued to pick up speed in one of the most adrenaline pumping rides of my life.

After our exhilarating two-minute run from the top, we climbed out of the jet black bobsled, and the crew dragged our sled off the course and we gathered around for the souvenir photo opp.

Ah, yes, just another day as a Champlain student taking a weekend field trip to experience something new. And all for 20 bucks.

Whether bobsledding, whitewater rafting, adventure ropes course,  catching a free movie or going bowling, the Champlain Student Activities Office in IDX Student Life is always on the lookout for new experiences for students.

And the fun didn’t end at the finish line. We then headed into town to visit some of the historic Olympic sites, including the Olympic Center, site of the famous 1980 USA vs USSR hockey championship that came to be known as the “The Miracle on Ice.”

After exploring the the complex, we headed over to the “toboggan slide onto the lake.” This was one of the highlights of the trip. The slide is an old ski-jump converted into a toboggan slide in the 1960s. Five dollars buys you an all-day ticket to carry the toboggan up the hill for  the ride back down.

We waited about 10 minutes until it was finally our turn. The operator pushed our sled down and we were on our way. Hurtling down the old ski jump it felt like we went even faster than we did on the bobsled. When we flattened out after getting onto the lake itself we kept sliding for at least a football field length or two. It was so much fun we made the trek back uphill several more times.

All that winter sports actions left us with an Olympic-size appetite, so we headed to Arena Bar and Grill to take care of our hunger before heading back to the motorcoach for the ride home with the other 40 or so Champlain students. It was a gold-medal experience all around and everyone agreed, a Saturday well spent.



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