Sports fans across the globe will soon turn their eyes to Sochi, Russia, where the XXII Winter Olympic Games will be contested from Feb. 7 to 23. According to the International Olympic Committee, more than 2,500 skiers, skaters, sliders and snowboarders — and don’t forget those crowd favorites, the curlers — from 80 nations will push themselves to their limits in pursuit of Olympic glory.
This year’s Games are expected be the costliest in history –– Russia has spent more than $50 billion to prepare Sochi, a resort city on the Black Sea, for what promises to be a memorable display of athletic prowess and national pride.
The program will feature 98 events in seven sports, and will take place in a set of ultra-modern venues, with the visually stunning Caucuses Mountains as a backdrop. So get ready to curl up in front of your TV and soak in the best of the best competing for the world’s most coveted athletic honors –– Olympic gold medals. For more, check out www.olympic.org/sochi-2014-winter-olympics.
We thought the festival of winter sports might inspire you to get out and engage in a little cold-weather fun and physical activity of your own. With its relatively hill-free terrain, Long Island offers some of the best cross-country skiing in New York state, and there are plenty of ice-skating rinks around on which to figure-skate or play hockey. Newbridge Arena in Bellmore even offers, yup, curling.
Here’s a list of local parks and rinks where you can get started.
87 1st Ave., East Rockaway
The 96-acre county-operated Bay Park borders Hewlett Bay and the East Rockaway Channel, offering many trails for cross-country skiing.
Bethpage State Park
99 Quaker Meeting House Road, Farmingdale
While best known for its five world-class golf courses, this park offers miles of cross-country skiing trails in winter. There’s also sledding and tobogganing.
Eisenhower Park, Field 1
600 Merrick Ave. at Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow
Cross-country skiing, sledding and tobogganing.
1625 Broadway at Sheridan Avenue, Hewlett
A 35-acre county park offering cross-country skiing, sledding and tobogganing.