Winter Olympics: Exeter Edition

With the Winter Olympics underway, the Tab looks at what an Exeter-themed edition might be like

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Most will have noticed the distinct lack of snow in Exeter this winter, replaced by its more familiar form of precipitation: rain.

But if – a big if – Exeter were to undergo a climatic shift of The Day After Tomorrow proportions, could it, with its many steep hills, be awarded the Winter Olympics at some stage?

The idea seems far-fetched, but so did hurtling down the side of a mountain on two sheets of glorified plastic 200 years ago. With this in mind we investigate potential event locations around Exeter:

The opening ceremony

Stocker Road Ski Jump

Stocker Road (aka Forum Hill) ordinarily sees a procession of sleepy students trudging home from lectures on the hour mark – the thought of snow and what they’ve just been listening to equally far from their minds.

But with a bit of the white stuff and enough speed (probably having straight-lined it from the sports centre) the flat spot level with the Forum could be transformed into the sort of ski jump that shot Eddie the Eagle to fame.

The extreme size of the jump allows for world record attempts

Hoopern Lane Bobsleigh

The shortcut between campus and Pennsylvania Road presently resembles more a water slide than a bobsleigh track.

But when we get our big freeze and the tediously slow walkers who seem to gravitate towards the lane eventually get out the way, you can see it being fit for any budding bobsledder – as long as they avoid the poles.

The next Cresta Run?

Cardiac Downhill

Steep enough to be etymologically linked with heart failure, only the bravest would dare slap on a pair of skis and schuss down the most feared hill in Exeter.

The University Health Centre is conveniently located near the hypothetical starting gate, so any injuries inevitably obtained after careering down the relatively narrow path could be treated with ease.

View from the top of the Downhill

Tenpin Curling

Boozy Tuesday trips to Exeter’s bowling mecca followed by Cheesies or Cellar Door could soon be a thing of the past.

Currently the closest curling rink to Exeter can be found just outside Tunbridge Wells. Not ideal, I think you’ll agree, for those students wishing to be part of any British curling success at future Olympics.

But with a coating of ice, a few brooms and some curling stones, Tenpin could be converted into the home of a new rival for canoeing’s EUCC title.

Curling’s big big brother – bowling

Top Floor Tobogganing

What the hell are we on about? Well, for the sake of alliteration, we’ve swapped ‘luge’ for ‘tobogganing’ – and by ‘top floor’ we are quite obviously referring to Timepiece. In fact, not only does this ‘winter sport’ not require snow, but it already exists.

Most people who have frequented this spot on a Wednesday would have experienced the humiliating, and ultimately painful, feeling of slipping on the cups lining the stairs leading down from the Timepiece penthouse.

So, by adding an element of competition, not only would the casualties’ dignity survive the drop, but the spectacularly quick descents could find an Olympic medal in their pocket the following morning – rather than a Timepiece burger.

Alcohol and Top Floor Tobogganing tend to go hand in hand