Kids get a start on the bobsled - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Kids get a start on the bobsled

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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -

"I thought it was the coolest thing -- I popped up at the end and yelled 'Mommy I want to do it again!'" says Kalyn McGuire from Queensbury, New York.

Bobsledding isn't your traditional after-school sport, but at Lake Placid, anything's possible.

"It's not that bad, it's just like a roller coaster," says Ryan Kane from Lake Placid.

"Yeah, if you like roller coasters, it's just like a roller coaster, you just have to hold on more," says Sean Moore of Lake Placid.

To be in the program, kids have to be 11 to 16 years old. The sleds are about three-quarters the size of the Olympic ones and they'll start from lower on the track.

"This isn't really going to advance them instantly into a real sled, but they get a feel for the ice, they get some idea of how a sled works going down the hill," says bobsled coach Don Hass.

Coach Hass says at least one Olympian has come out of this program. For others, like Christopher Roy, bobsledding is a family tradition.

His father, Matthew Roy, competed in the two and four-man bobsled in Calgary back in 1988and went on to coach in Salt Lake in 2002. He says the first ride is unforgettable.

"I've never seen anybody get out of a sled and say 'I wish I hadn't done that'," he says. "They get down to the bottom and say 'that was cool, I can't wait to do that again', or 'that was cool, I'm glad I never have to do that again,' but they never regret it."

And that was true for his son's first ride.

"It was pretty scary. I didn't know what to expect. It was pretty fast and just not used to it," says Christoper Roy.

Organizers say these sleds are very safe. But Roy says as he watches his son fly down the track, he understands how his wife felt while he was competing.

"I'm here biting my fingers and nervous and here for every run of it," he says.

Now it was my turn to go down for a ride. Becca, Hass's daughter, is my driver. She's been doing this since she was 11 and says the key is not to fight the ice.

"I just kind-of feel with the track because the track will kind-of guide your bobsled and then you just drive with it," she says.

And with the sound of the buzzer, off we went. The boys were right -- it did feel like a roller coaster. And the ride was bumpy, but Becca's driving guided us down to the end without a hitch.

For more information about that program, you can visit whitefacelakeplacid.com.

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