The W-League Rookie Franchise of the Year in 2010, the Colorado Rush take on all slide-tackling opposition with grace, skill, and determination. Cheer on the Rush as they host their northerly neighbors, the Victoria Highlanders, in a battle of pinpoint passing, fierce shots on goal, and precisely catapulted orange slices. A beverage and a baked-good treat (a $3–$5 value each) provide fuel for enthusiastic shouting and ringing high-fives. Fans should remain glued to seats during the break for the Thunder Team, members of a special-needs program who will perform a halftime show. Seating is general admission (a $6 value each for adults; a $3 value each for children), so arrive anytime after 6 p.m. to stake a claim near the most fetching patch of sod.
On April 10, 2012, the Central Hockey League announced the Denver Cutthroats as the league's newest member. A little more than six months later, on October 19, the team played its first game ever—a 4–3 overtime loss to the Missouri Mavericks. Despite the outcome, the game marked the return of hockey to Denver Coliseum, which hadn't been skated professionally since the IHL's Denver Rangers' 1988-89 season. As an affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, the Cutthroats—a name chosen in honor of Denver's state fish, the Greenback cutthroat trout— immediately developed a connection with local hockey fans. Fans get to share their support directly with The Stream, a place right outside the home team's locker room covered with inspirational messages and lasagna recipes inscribed on paper fish by the Cutthroat faithful.
In July 2013, Scott and Heidi Moore achieved the title of godan, or fifth-degree black belt. Since they have over 50 years of experience combined and have acted as coaches and participants in countless competitions (including the Olympic trials and Paralympics), the belts were well-earned. At Denver Judo, they and a team of first-, second-, and third-degree black belts teach the art of judo to practitioners of all ages and abilities, including those who are blind or otherwise visually impaired. The martial art focuses on throws and grappling as opposed to punches and kicks.
Elton John. Dolly Parton. Dave Matthews Band. Harlem Globetrotters. These are just a handful of celebrated acts that have descended upon Winston-Salem Entertainment Sports Complex over the years. The sprawling event center remains a go-to destination for visitors who want to catch a first-rate concert, root for their favorite sports team, or get an autography from their favorite gym towel.
For more than two decades, Sports Climbing Center has provided a spacious and well-appointed destination for new climbers and seasoned ascenders alike. After outfitting visitors with shoes, harnesses, and Spider-Man costumes, staffers lead lessons and spot climbers as they navigate the footholds and handholds of facility's brightly colored walls or the newly added bouldering wall. The center also hosts a variety of competitions and leads outdoor excursions for students to put their learned skills to work on rock faces and unsuspecting statues.
Patrolled by mermaids and people walking atop the water in huge, transparent bubbles, the pool inside Donna's Dolphins Swim School seems to be more of a wonderland than an academy. Employees oversee games at birthday parties or outfit guests in a fitted mermaid tail for whimsical dives and gliding choreography. Poolside carousers can even move across the surface of the pool at a walk or trot with the help of W.O.W.—Walk On Water—bubbles.
At the heart of all the fun and games, however, the highly trained staff’s main focus is to ensure that safety always comes before each splash. In swim classes, staffers employ the swim-float-swim approach—a method condoned by the United States Swim School Association—when teaching students in their group and private lessons. The lessons emphasize muscle memory so that children as young as 6 months can absorb techniques such as the starfish float for use in aquatic emergencies. They also assign seasoned mentors to coach special-needs students, making sure every kid gets a chance to embark on aquatic adventures.
Throughout each class, instructors motivate pupils with encouragement and prizes, awarding them a different colored bracelet on a traffic-light system to denote their skill level. Students graduate from red to yellow to green, and finally to blue, which signals that they can demonstrate all four strokes, execute flip turns, and remain safe in potentially dangerous situations by drinking all of the pool water.