Bobsleigh is one of those winter sports that perks interest from the public about every four years, concurrent with the Winter Olympics. It's just not the kind of sport you can go try on your own. You can't even rent a bobsleigh like you can skis or a snowboard. But [R1343R, Canada Olympic Park] in Calgary opens its bobsleigh course to the public every winter.

The course at Canada Olympic Park, built for the 1988 Calgary Olympics, is used today by Canadian champions for training. Professional drivers, however, pilot the bobsleighs to carry public riders down the course.

The course offers a way for visitors to feel first hand the thrill of racing down an icy, narrow serpentine course. The ride lasts a mere 60 seconds, but in that time, you zip through 14 banked turns and pull up to five G-forces. Bobsleighs fly up to 120 kilometers per hour--comparable to about 75 miles per hour.

The bobsleigh fits four people, including one professional driver and three riders. The driver, who is also the brakeman--assigns the seating order. All riders start seated in the confined bobsleigh and wear helmets, which are provided.

Bobsleigh rides cost $165 per person, or $150 per person for a group of three. The fee includes one ride, photo, T-shirt, and certificate. Public rides are available 2-4 p.m. weekends through Feb. 14. Reservations are recommended. Luge rides are also available on select days for $25 per run.

Get into the Olympic spirit by checking out the park's Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum, open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 6. COP is also open daily for skiing and snowboarding.

More information. Or call 403-247-5452.