This winter, members of the Otsego Ski Club in Gaylord will be “shredding” alongside some of the world’s most accomplished athletes.
Top board riders from several countries were scheduled to come to the northern Michigan resort to prepare for this month’s Olympic winter games in Vancouver, British Columbia (Feb. 12-28).
“During peak training periods, we anticipate having as many as 40 Olympians on site at any given time,” says Mike Biber, Otsego’s owner and managing partner.
The draw? Otsego’s 22-foot pipe, which is similar to the official Olympic venue. The pipe was created by Pat Malendoski, of Planet Snow Design, who designed similar boarding pipes for previous Olympic games and national championship competitions.
“Once teams found out about [Otsego], it started to snowball [pun unintended],” Biber says. In the last three years, Otsego has invested $12 million in making its facility a top-notch destination for members and word-class athletes.
Otsego expected to welcome medal hopefuls from Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Germany, and, of course, the United States. The teams began to arrive in January, and the last group is expected to finish on or about Feb. 5.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity,” Biber says. Having members and the public share sports facilities with top athletes is a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience.