Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
WHEN OLYMPIC ORGANIZERS reintroduced the old-school sport of skeleton at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, after a 54-year hiatus, they had a hit. Skeleton, which sends competitors headfirst down icy tracks at up to 80 miles per hour, is the "moonshine of winter thrills," as American gold-medal winner Jim Shea Jr. puts it.
Learn to Skeleton
THIS COULD BE YOU: Olympian Kwang-Bae Kang, of South Korea, on the Park City track
Now, thanks to a slew of new recreational skeleton classes, you can try it yourself. At North America's three tracks—in Park City, Utah; Lake Placid, New York; and Calgary, Alberta—aspiring "skeletors" can sign up for half-day courses (which might have them topping 50 mph), fantasy camps, and certification schools that grant access to icy serpentines from Japan to France.
Coaches insist skeleton is safe—even high-speed wipeouts typically deliver only bruises—and easy to pick up. Just look at the trajectory of 2004 World Cup champ Lindsay Alcock, a Canadian who took a beginner class in Calgary in 1998. Two months later, she entered her first elite-class race.
WHERE TO SKELETON
» PARK CITY Half-day course, $150; four-day certification, $500; Skeleton Fantasy Four-Day Camp, $750; 435-658-4208
» LAKE PLACID Six-day certification, $850; five-day camp, including stay and meals, with certification, $1,500; 518-523-1842
» CALGARY Two-hour beginner class, US$35; three-day certification, US$250; 403-247-5490