A unique way to satisfy one's need for speed is to feel the rush of a skeleton or bobsled flash by at 100 mph on ice-coated concrete tracks. Imagine the roar of the wind and the smooth rumbling of the sled from the point of view of the athletes as they navigate a series of high-banked turns before shooting out into a straight section at forces upward of five times the pull of gravity.

[Pause to reflect.]

This weekend, experience the rush at the Bobsled and Skeleton World Cups at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City.

General admission is free.

[Pause for further reflection.]

While winter sliding sports have been around for decades, modern sleds and elite athletes have combined to create some of the Winter Olympics' most popular events.

Few kids can resist the amusingly named and visually delighting bobsled, while skeleton racing awes people of all ages with its incredible blend of speed, agility and aerodynamics. In fact, it was the highly successful 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City where skeleton became a permanent fixture in the Olympics, and its popularity has grown ever since.

In the skeleton, cheer on Olympian (and Orem native) Noelle Pikus-Pace and other incredible Utah athletes as they take on the world's top competitors. Then, stick around for the World Cup Wonderland community festival on Friday from 3:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. and Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Admission is free and there will be live entertainment, face painting, hot cocoa bar and other holiday treats available for sale.

Additional highlights of the community festival include David Halliday performing with Park City High School musicians on Friday and Santa Claus, the man himself, making an appearance for photos from noon to 2:00 P.M. on Saturday.

Saturday evening, Santa will visit the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns for the annual Holiday Festival where ice skating, sculpting, crafts, figure skating shows and many other activities will be available for the whole family. Bring a can of food for $1 admission. Skate rental for public skating is only $2.50.

Note: Next weekend, the International Luge Federation (FIL) World Cup will take place on Friday and Saturday, December 13 and 14.

More information: UtahSportEvents.org