How to channel your inner winter Olympian around NYC
January 26, 2018
The world’s top cold-weather athletes will dazzle, break records and earn medals at the Winter Olympics in South Korea starting Feb. 9. But if you can’t wait, you can create your own Olympic village without leaving the New York area.
Figure skating fans, for instance, can head over to the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, where famed skaters such as Sasha Cohen, who won the silver in 2006, and 1988 Olympic gold medal champion Brian Boitano have hit the rink. Curling aficionados can sweep the ice in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. And there are weekend trips to be had for enthusiasts of ski jumping and even bobsledding.
Here’s a beginner’s guide to trying out, or just watching, winter Olympic sports in and around the city.
The programs at Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers range from a learn-to-skate program for anyone inspired by “I, Tonya” (maybe leave your mother at home, though) to advanced private lessons for skaters trying to perfect that double salchow. Skaters range from toddlers to octogenarians. Prices run from $28 for a drop-in session to $500 for private lessons.
“We have people who are retired who just come to skate for exercise or just be social,” says skating director Jessica Huot, who, along with a partner, was a Finnish national ice-dancing champion three years in a row.
“The rink can be just as majestic for spectators as the big show in South Korea — not to mention a heck of a lot cheaper,” she says.
The rink is open all year, and it’s home to the Skating Club of New York, so you can catch Olympic-style performances at Sky Rink’s showcases even during the warmer months, including the 32nd annual Ice Skating Institute Team Figure Skating Competition starting June 1. Pier 61; 212-336-6100, ChelseaPiers.com/sr/