A 680-foot-long zip line stretching across San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza will open to the public Thursday, starting with an event featuring two gold medal winners from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

The zip line, part of a free exhibit meant to encourage travel to British Columbia, will be in San Francisco until April 18. Other parts of the exhibit include a 3-D art installation and a video wall.

Shani Davis and Ashleigh McIvor will be on hand Thursday for the exhibit’s launch. Davis won the gold medal for the U.S. in the 1,000-meter speed skating race at both the 2006 and 2010 Olympics. McIvor, a Canadian, was the first gold medal winner of the women’s ski cross event.

The exhibit, “The British Columbia Experience,” was popular during the Vancouver Olympics, and the British Columbia ministry of tourism decided to bring it to San Francisco to promote the province.

The zip line will start from a launch tower 80 feet off the ground and will carry users 680 feet to a 30-foot-tall landing tower. The zip-line will be free to the public and open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through April 18.

Thursday’s launch event is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. and will include performances by the Le-La-La Dancers, an aboriginal dance troupe from Vancouver Island.

Yes, we know, the video of is of Vancouver’s “urban zipline,” but since Vancouver plays SF is so many TV shows, it seemed to make sense to include.

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