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Do-It-Yourself Olympics

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CSPA/NewSport/Corbis

Water Cube, Beijing, China

Olympic Pedigree: Home to swimming, diving, water polo, and synchronized swimming in 2008, and possibly where amphibious phenom Michael Phelps breaks Mark Spitz’s Olympic record of seven gold medals.

Be an Olympian: Chinese officials haven’t released details yet, but say that the Water Cube—an architectural wonder resembling a massive, membranous blue box built from soap bubbles—will become a water park for the public after the Games’ conclusion.

Article: Do-It-Yourself Olympics

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MICHAEL JUNG/AFP/Getty Images

Georgia International Horse Park, Atlanta, Georgia

Olympic Pedigree: Dutch racer Bart Brentjens won a gold on the Atlanta track, site of the Olympics’ first-ever mountain biking competition.

Be an Olympian: North America’s only Olympic mountain biking course has eight trails and more than 1,000 feet of elevation. Ride year-round or start training for the Dirty Spokes Mountain Bike Race—open to beginner and expert riders—to be held this October ($5 trail fee + $60 event registration).

Article: Do-It-Yourself Olympics

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Gilles Proulx, la Société du parc Jean-Drapeau

Olympic Rowing Basin, Montreal, Canada

Olympic Pedigree: Home to rowing events in the 1976 Games, and one of the largest artificial outdoor rowing facilities in North America.

Be an Olympian: Sign up for one of the eight-hour “Learn to Row” classes offered April through May by the Montreal Rowing Club ($130) (www.avironmontreal.com), and paddle 1.3 miles of pure, flat water, with stunning views of downtown Montreal.

Article: Do-It-Yourself Olympics

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Robert B. Fishman / ecomedia / Alamy

Olympic Park, Munich, Germany

Olympic Pedigree: 1972 Games’ home to track and field, boxing, weight lifting, archery, modern pentathlon, swimming, wrestling, cycling, fencing, handball, gymnastics, judo, soccer, and volleyball.

Be an Olympian: Go swimming, skating, running, and rowing, and play tennis. You can also watch the pros compete—and pick up pointers—at the park’s track and field, swimming, and figure skating training centers.

Article: Do-It-Yourself Olympics

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Photo Provided by Cypress Mountain

Cypress Mountain, Vancouver, British Columbia

Olympic Pedigree: Snowboarding and freestyle skiing in 2010, and site of Shaun “Flying Tomato” White’s likely total domination of the half-pipe à la Turin 2006.

Be an Olympian: Cruise down 52 downhill runs and 2,010 feet of vertical drop, and explore a monster terrain park. Intermediate to expert riders can join the two-hour snowboard clinic at the Cypress Snow School, then take a shot at the 22-foot walled Olympic super half-pipe ($109, plus the cost of a lift ticket).

Article: Do-It-Yourself Olympics

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Courtesy of Olympiaworld

Olympiaworld, Innsbruck, Austria

Olympic Pedigree: Dating back to the 1935 World Championships, the track in Igls also hosted the luge and bobsled competitions during both the 1964 and 1976 Winter Games.

Be an Olympian: Take a hair-raising, 60-mph ride on the park’s 4,165-foot-long combination luge and bobsled track, with 14 curves and a vertical drop of more than 320 feet (from $47). Wheeled bobsledding available during the summer ($40).

Article: Do-It-Yourself Olympics

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cinevideogroup

Torino Olympic Park, Turin, Italy

Olympic Pedigree: 2006 Games’ home to hockey, ice skating, biathlon, luge, bobsled, skeleton, alpine skiing, snowboarding, curling, and ski jumping.

Be an Olympian: Strap on the skates and put on the tights for figure skating lessons at Palaghiaccio Torre Pellice, the park’s ice skating rink ($157 for 10 lessons). Then stroll the Olympic Village’s arcade, grab dinner (preferably someplace that features the region’s best-known products—white truffles and Barolo wine), and stay at the Hotel Pragelato, overlooking the ski jumping stadium.

Article: Do-It-Yourself Olympics

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Reuters/CORBIS

Utah Olympic Park, Park City, Utah

Olympic Pedigree: 2002 home to luge, bobsled, skeleton, and Nordic jumping combined events, and where, during the debut of women’s bobsleigh competition, Vonetta Flowers became the first black athlete to earn a winter gold medal.

Be an Olympian: Attend one of the park’s Air Intro camps, a half-day class that teaches basic aerial and freestyle skiing maneuvers ($95). You'll hurtle off one of the park’s freestyle jumps into a 750,000-gallon pool of bubbling water.

Article: Do-It-Yourself Olympics

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Gilbert Iundt/TempSport/Corbis

Birkebeineren Ski Stadium, Lillehammer, Norway

Olympic Pedigree: Italian Manuela Di Centa earned medals in all five cross-country events at Birkebeineren, site of the 1994 Winter Games’ cross-country skiing and biathlon competitions.

Be an Olympian: Start with the stadium’s three-mile-long outdoor cross-country trail (free admission), then check out the biathlon facilities—open year-round and with or without skis—where you can fire rounds at 30 Olympic targets.

Article: Do-It-Yourself Olympics

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ORDA

Lake Placid Olympic Region, Lake Placid, New York

Olympic Pedigree: Figure skater-turned-movie star Sonja Henie took one gold medal at the Olympic Center’s rink in 1932. Nearly five decades later, during the 1980 Winter Games, American speed skater Eric Heiden won five gold medals, while the U.S. hockey team beat the Soviet Union.

Be an Olympian: Lace up your skates at the Olympic Center’s open-to-the-public rink ($5 admission), or take a ride on the luge and bobsleigh tracks at the nearby Olympic Sports Complex (from $55).

Article: Do-It-Yourself Olympics

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