Friday, August 26, 2005

High Dive Dare-Devil

Diving Platform
Originally uploaded by David B..
Last night our son, Bryan attended a church youth group activity at the Kearns Oquirrh Fitness Center. There are 5 swimming pools there, and naturally the one he was drawn to was the dive pool. The water is some 20 feet deep!

He jumped off the regular 3 meter springboard. But was that good enough for him? OH No! He went for the 5 meter platform (with red flags).

He was so psyched about jumping off the platform, that he could hardly get himself to sleep last night. First thing this morning, it was still all he could talk about.

I suspect that Bryan will give a full report on his blog in the next day or two.

Meanwhile, the Utah Olympic Oval is adjacent immediately to the west of the Dive Platforms, so I decided to snap a few photos of this unique structure as well.

Utah Olympic Oval Architecture

This view of the Utah Olympic Oval shows the elaborate exterior support structure that was designed to give unobstructed views of the ice surface inside. There are no columns or pillars inside to obstruct the view. It may look kind of gangly (or like an exoskeleton) but it is really quite striking, especially when it is lit up at night. There is a series of cables anchored to the ground and then run up and over the roof, and are anchored to the ground once more on the opposite side of the building. These cable structures are what holds up the roof of the building.

This building is the 3rd iteration of the ice surface at this location. First, before Salt Lake was awarded the 2002 Olympic Games, an outdoor ice sheet was constructed. Original plans called for an outdoor pavilion-like cover over the ice sheet, with some bleacher seats to view the events.

After the Olympic Games were awarded, then they decided on building this building. But the first concrete slab for the ice sheet had to be jack-hammered out because of the unevenness of the cement (bad, freezing weather conditions during the pour).

Finally they got it right, and the project was completed. They lured away the ice-manager from the Calgary Sadledome (who worked on the Calgary Olympic Games) to come and manage the ice at the Utah Olympic oval. At the time of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics, the ice here was the fastest in the world.

Utah Olympic Oval

As elaborate as this building is, it is completely paid for. The Olympic Games in Salt Lake resulted in a $100+ million surplus after all the other bills were paid. The Utah Olympic Oval was then ceded over to the Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center. Some of that residual money from the Olympic Games has been set aside as an endowment to maintain this facility, and to provide for community skating and fitness programs.

(That beats the Olympic Speedskating Palace that was constructed in Nagano Japan for the 1998 Olympics. That one cost over $500 million -- the people of Japan are still paying off the debt to this day!)

The oval itself is so large, that they have two full-sized hockey rinks inside the oval. They can cover the hocky rinks, and then they can play indoor soccer here as well - two games at a time. There is also an indoor track for runners and walkers, which is especially nice around here during the winter time.

Derek Parra Gold

Perhaps one of the most memorable Olympic moments from the Utah Olympic Oval during the 2002 games was when Derek Parra one the Gold Meadal in the 1500 Meter Longtrack speedskating competition.

Its hard to believe that only 6 months from now, the Winter Olympics will be convened again. This time in Torino, Italy.

As for me, one of these days, I am going to take a Curling class at the Oval -- Just to keep in touch with my Canadian Heritage.


Live, Love, Laugh said...

awesome, sounds like Brian's going to have a memorable day, I'll have to visit his blog to find out what happened!

MsThang said...

Ooh that diving thing sounds fun! I am a swimmer myself, but I havn't attempted diving yet.. no facilities around here to do so.

I love all the information on the oval building! Very facinating!

PS Thanks for linking me.