Feel the speed


I grew up watching the Winter Olympics on TV. My sister and I would try to mimic a double salchow in the living room — not a pretty sight. We settled for learning to go backwards on the ice rink. I never imagined that one day I’d be at the Olympics.

Yet, here I am at my first Olympics blogging for Boise Weekly and producing radio features for Only a Game. The reality of this sunk in Monday. I was up in Whistler interviewing members of the U.S. Biathlon Team. Afterward, I caught a bus to the Whistler Sliding Center to watch the women’s luge.

These women lie on their backs on a sleigh propelling themselves down a twisty ice track at speeds topping around 132 miles per hour. They’re a blur of color across the ice and it’s over in 42 seconds or less. Thousands of fans drank beer, cheered and tried to snap a photograph or two of one of these women. This photo endeavor turned into a competition. A group of us right down by the track figured out that 30 seconds into the run if we held our shutters down we might get a picture. I got lucky twice.

The crowds cheered for Canada, then the U.S. and then Australia, which you can hear here

The competition started at 5 p.m. with a 45-minute break in between each race.

Whistler Sliding Center
  • Sadie Babits
  • Whistler Sliding Center

I had bleacher seats but found it was ok to wander around and get so close to the track I could almost touch it.

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Whistler Sliding Park is set up so everyone has a good spot to watch but if you want to follow a luger through the whole race, you'll need the big screen.

  • Sadie Babits