It might be too expensive to travel to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, but locals can see many of the athletes who will represent the U.S. this weekend at two different events.

The best aspect of this opportunity, other than it's the chance to see the world's best compete for a shot at Olympic gold, is that both events are free to the public.

The Essent ISU Long Track Speed Skating World Cup will begin today at 12:30 p.m. at the Utah Olympic Oval, 4800 West and 5600 South in Kearns.

Familiar names like Olympian Shani Davis, Chad Hedrick and Park City's Jen Rodriguez will join more than 400 of the world's best speedskaters for the last World Cup competition before the Games.

"This is the last World Cup and it all comes down to this fifth one," said Nancy Swider-Peltz Jr. "There is a lot riding on this weekend. It's coming down to the wire."

The races get under way today, Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 p.m., and admission is free.

The second event is the Nordic Combined Continental Cup, a sport that combines ski jumping with cross-country ski racing.

Round one of the ski jumping will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, and then athletes will race the 10-kilometer course at Soldier Hollow at 2 p.m. Round two will take place on Sunday at the same times.

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