Is That a Luge in Times Square?

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Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s vision of new sporting venues across the boroughs fizzled, and New York lost its bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. But what if the city had tried to get the Winter Olympics instead? It would probably take more hubris than even this city can muster, but the exercise provides some telling measures of scale.


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The Downhill

Alpine events would be challenging. But if you could fashion a facsimile of the 2.2-mile downhill course at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, it would tower over Central Park. Starting above 59th Street at a height of two Empire State Buildings, the course (without many of its notorious turns) would end on the ballfields of the North Meadow.

1,454 ft.

Tip of
Empire State Building

3,205 ft.

Profile of downhill course

750 ft.

Time Warner Center

34th St.

59th St.

2 miles

101st St.

Luge, Bobsled and Skeleton

Racers might begin their starting sprints 40 stories up and several blocks north of Times Square for the run down the city’s own version of the Sanki Sliding Center’s track, finishing in a big turn on the plaza in front of the Armed Services Recruiting Center.

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Ski Jumping

The New York Public Library and Bryant Park provide a surfeit of air rights, and scaffolding repurposed from the Fashion Week tent could support the jumps and starting box. Competitors could finish with a breathtaking hockey stop just short of Sixth Avenue, spraying snow and scattering pigeons.


The trickle of traffic that now uses Broadway south of Times Square would hardly be inconvenienced by the installation of a long ice sheet for the 5,000-meter speedskating between Madison Square Park and Battery Park.






Battery Park

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