For us fans, the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang are already winding down. But for athletes, the Olympics are never truly over. It’s never too early to think about training for the 2020 Tokyo summer games or the 2022 Beijing winter games. Whether you have real Olympic-sized ambitions or just want to pretend for a day or two, there are plenty of spots both on and near Long Island to master your event of choice.
Cantiague Figure Skating Club
A fixture on Long Island for the past 50 years, Cantiague Figure Skating Club offers instruction in a wide range of figure skating events, including pair skating, ice dancing and free skating. Enthusiasts of all skill levels can refine their on-ice moves and practice their form in a fun-but-serious environment that will help skaters get a leg up on the competition.
The club is located at 480 W. John St., Hicksville.
It’s not around the block (about three hours from the Island), but Hunter Mountain is one of New York’s most popular ski and snowboard resorts, and one its main draws are its competition teams, which place skiers and snowboarders into age- and skill-appropriate races that go a long way towards strengthening fundamentals. Though their season ends in March, fear not; the sharp focus and consistency of each competitive session ensures that when alpine season starts up again, athletes will have no trouble getting back into the groove.
Visit www.huntermtn.com for more information.
Long Island Curling Club
Thanks to dazzling spectacle sports like figure skating and snowboarding, curling often sweeps by unnoticed. But the sport’s fostering of strategy and teamwork has made it a cult favorite, and it’s found a home at the Long Island Curling Club. Located at 165 Eileen Way, Syosset, the club offers open house sessions, Learn To Curl sessions and competitive leagues, all of which help prepare prospective curlers for local, national or international competitions.
Gold Medal Gymnastics
At Gold Medal Gymnastics, kids are taught the skills that could take them all the way to the Olympics. In addition to athletics, kids learn goal setting and achievement, teamwork and communication. Find the modern, fully equipped gymnastics facilities in Garden City, Levittown, Huntington, Centereach, Smithtown and Rocky Point.
For more information, visit gmgc.com.
Sailing has been part of the Summer Olympics since 1896. Based in Oyster Bay, Oakcliff Sailing hosts sailors from around the world who come for its expert collection of directors, coaches, industry leaders and alumni. Sailors at Oakcliff have access to a fleet of nearly 100 boats. Last year, Oakcliff awarded prize money to the winners of the Oakcliff Triple Crown Series to help fund their journey towards Olympic success.
Learn more about www.oakcliffsailing.org.
Smith Point Archery
Smith Point Archery has one of the largest pro shops and archery ranges in the Northeast. The family owned and operated business offers a Junior Olympic Archery Development program that teaches range safety and proper shooting technique in an environment that also fosters focus, increased self-confidence and team building skills.
For more about the Patchogue range, visit smithpointarchery.com/archery-lessons/archery-joad.
Nassau Rifle And Pistol Range
The only indoor range in Nassau County that is open to the public, the Nassau Rifle and Pistol Range has six ranges, 30 individual shooting points and targets at varying distances. The range, located at the Mitchel Field Athletic Complex, does not rent guns, but is prime practicing ground for aspiring Olympians.
Find more details at www.nassaucountyny.gov/1793/Rifle-Pistol-Range.
Meadow Brook Hounds Pony Club
The Summer Olympics feature equestrian jumping, dressage and mixed events, all of which can be learned at the Meadow Brook Hounds Pony Club. Members develop character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community in the programs that teach the care of horses and ponies in addition to riding and mounted sports. Several past Olympians have received “A” ratings from the pony club based in Lloyd Harbor.
For more, visit www.meadowbrookhoundsponyclub.com.
—Additional information by Kimberly Dijkstra