Your own Olympic Games Experience

North Dakota has skiing, skating, hockey, curling and more. Just like Sochi

Every four years, the world’s top athletes gather in an exotic location for the Winter Olympics. This year, it’s Sochi, Russia in February. There will be ice hockey, ice skating, skiing, curling, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and much more. In North Dakota, you don’t have to wait four years to enjoy in your very own winter games at a nearby ski run, skating rink, trail or living room.

Get your friends together and have your own slalom or downhill run at one of the state’s ski and snowboard areas: Bottineau Winter Park near Bottineau, Frost Fire Ski Area near Walhalla and Huff Hills Ski Area near Mandan. All feature downhill runs and snowboarding terrain parks for adventurous types like Shaun White.

Annie's House at Bottineau Winter Park accommodate the needs of skiers with both physical and cognitive disabilities. The facility supports the adaptive ski program empowering disabled skiers and their families to enjoy outdoor sports during winter while also providing a year-round facility to accommodate other adaptive sports.

If gliding effortlessly around the ice is your idea of a relaxing outdoor activity, it’s not hard to find indoor and outdoor skating rinks. Olympians make it look so easy, but they, too, honed their skills at an early age on local ice sheets.

For a truly unique and difficult sport, try curling. Always popular in areas known for their rather cool climates, curling exploded in popularity after its inclusion in the Olympics. Watch it, then contact your local curling club to get involved. HURRY!

Or slow down and glide through a quiet forest on cross-country ski trails. The silence of our parks and woodland trails is deafening. It's just you, the woodlands and the wildlife, making for one truly enjoyable and relaxing afternoon.

Thought your hockey playing days were over? They’re not. Many cities have recreational hockey leagues for adults who want to keep playing long after thoughts of an NHL career have disappeared. Contact your local parks and recreation office to find out if there is a league in your area.

After a day in the great outdoors, come back inside and cheer on the Lamoureux sisters from Grand Forks as their U.S. women’s hockey team chases Olympic Gold. Jocelyn and Monique are back on Team USA for another run at Olympic gold. They were forwards on the team that won silver at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Team USA hits the ice for the first time against Finland on Feb. 8. Of the seven sets of siblings on the US team, the Lamoureuxs are the only sister-sister act.

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