Inspired by the Olympics? These Utah sports venues can help you train or just try something new – Salt Lake Tribune

Chess Training

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kyra Condie chalks her hands while training in preparation for representing Team USA in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where climbing will make its debut, on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

| Oct. 31, 2021, 12:00 p.m.

Whether you were inspired by the flips of gymnast MyKayla Skinner or the skills of swimmer Katie Ledecky, there are dozens of ways you can keep the Olympic flame burning.

The Utah Olympic Park in Park City where some of the events for the 2002 Olympics were held is an obvious place to start. It offers summer activities for novices and aspiring Olympians, said Kole Nordmann, the facilitys marketing and media production manager.

Theres no need to wait for snow to try summer bobsledding, ski and snowboard freestyle pool lessons, zip line tours, extreme tubing and the Alpine Slide. These activities have fees, so check out the Utah Olympic Park website for more information.

The park also offers plenty of free activities, Nordmann said, including hiking trails, the parks two museums and the chance to observe athletes as they power through their training programs.

Normally, sports fans dont see the grind every single day, Nordmann said. [So seeing them train] humanizes the athletes. This is their job. They have to do these things every day.

Whether youre looking for your next fitness obsession or simply curious to try one of the Olympics more obscure sports, here are some other way you can play like an Olympian in Utah.

For more information, venue details and links, you can access this story online at

U. S. Olympic Team archer Brady Ellison has a grouping of arrows on a target as he practices on his range Thursday, April 30, 2020, in Miami, Ariz. In between remodeling his archery workshop and raising piglets, Brady Ellison shoots 100 arrows a day on his custom-built range. That's not high volume for him, but he's scaled way back with the coronavirus pandemic postponing the Tokyo Games until next summer and his season on hold. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

From Marvels Hawkeye to Disneys Princess Merida, theres no shortage of characters who wield bows and arrows.

But the real experts were found at the Tokyo Olympics, where Mete Gazoz of Turkey took gold in the mens individual competition and An San of South Korea won gold in the womens individual competition.

There are a number of places around Utah where everyone from novices to experienced archers can practice their aim, from Easton Foundations Archery Center in Salt Lake to Wilde Arrow Archery in Centerville.

Ryan Chew of the United States eyes the shuttlecock during the badminton men's doubles semi-final against Brazil at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Players either alone or in pairs hit a shuttlecock across a net in this racquet sport, which officially became part of the Olympics in 1992.

In Utah, aspiring badminton players can try the game courtesy of The Utah Badminton Association in Sandy or at The University of Utah Badminton Club in Salt Lake City.

FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2016, file photo, gold medal winner Chloe Esposito of Australia, left, competes against Isabella Isaksen of the United States in the fencing portion of the women's modern pentathlon at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Esposito announced in late January that a wonderful, unexpected surprise had occurred and that the Australian wouldnt be able to defend her modern pentathlon gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. She was pregnant with her first child. Two months later Esposito and thousands of other Olympic athletes learned that the Tokyo Games would be put off by a year until July 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. While for some it meant more time to recover from injuries or extra time to prepare, Esposito realized it might give her a second chance to be in Tokyo next year. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

If daring sword fights or epic duels seem exciting, then this sport might be for you.

The sport involves speed, agility and chess-like strategic thinking, according to the Wasatch Fencing website.

This year, American Lee Kiefer took gold in the womens individual foil event.

Give it a try yourself at Salt City Swords Fencing Club, (formerly Utah Sword Academy), Wasatch Fencing in Kaysville or Valkyrie Fencing Club in Pleasant Grove.

Denmark's Mikkel Hansen shoots during the World Handball Championship final game against Sweden in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

This game was first played in Scandinavia and Germany at the end of the 19th Century, according to Team USAs website. it involves two teams of seven players passing a ball with their hands with the aim of throwing it into the other teams goal,

It was originally introduced as an outdoor summer sport in the 1939 Olympics, but has been played as an indoor summer sport since 1972.

Utah residents who want to give this game a try can join the Utah Handball Association in Murray or the Massif SLC Team Handball Club.

However, Patrick Halladay, a representative for the Massif SLC Team Handball Club, clarified that the Utah Handball Association is affiliated with a version of the sport thats different than the version used in the Olympics.

Its more like racquetball played with the palm of your hand, he said. Because of this confusion, Olympic handball is referred to as team handball in the U.S.

The Massif SLC Team Handball Club plays team handball, the Olypmic version of the sport, Halladay said.

Judo teacher Tomoo Hamana helps protect the neck of a new student during a judo lesson at Hamana Dojo in Oiso town, west of Tokyo on Oct. 1, 2020. Japan is the home of judo, and the 19th-century martial art is sure to get more attention at home than any other sport at next years postponed Tokyo Olympics. But its also drawing unwanted scrutiny over widespread allegations of violence, and accompanying injuries and abuse. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

This combat sport demands physical prowess and mental discipline, according to Team USAs website, and involves techniques that allow competitors to lift, throw and pin down opponents.

Despite this, the word judo literally means the way of gentleness, from the Japanese character ju meaning gentle and do meaning the way.

In Tokyo, Japanese athletes won gold medals in five mens weight categories, while four additional Japanese judokas took gold in four womens weight categories.

Adults and children can learn the moves at Rocky Mountain Judo in Midvale. The first few visits are free, then tuition is $80 a month.

If you want to learn the way of gentleness, attend classes at Lehi Judo Club or Kaizen Judo Dojo in Clearfield.

Editors note 150 Things To Do is a reporting project and weekly newsletter made possible by the generous support of the Utah Office of Tourism. Sign up for the 150 Things newsletter here.

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Inspired by the Olympics? These Utah sports venues can help you train or just try something new - Salt Lake Tribune

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