World-Class Recreation, World-Class Athletes: Utah's Dominance in the Winter Olympics

Typically, between 50-70 athletes who live or train in Utah qualify for the Winter Olympics. Since the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Utah has been a dominant force in winter sports and recreation. In total, 16 athletes whose home state is in Utah are competing in this year's Winter Olympics, another 34 with Utah ties are joining them.

ANOTHER BIG SHOWING FOR UTAH

By Monday, January 24, the U.S. Olympic roster was finalized. Park City-based U.S. Ski & Snowboard late nominations for their Olympic Freestyle and Alpine teams included Cole McDonald and Nick Page, both of Park City. McDonald is the youngest American man ever named to an Olympic moguls team. Isabella “Bella” Wright of Salt Lake City was also nominated for a spot on the women’s alpine squad. In total, 16 athletes whose home state is in Utah will be competing in this year's Winter Olympics, another 34 with Utah ties will be joining them. 

THE 2002 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES

The Olympic Winter Games 2002 helped Utah establish itself as one of the world's premier high performance and recreational winter sports destinations. Today, the three UOLF venues: Utah Olympic Oval, Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow Nordic Centre are alive and vibrant. Since hosting the 2002 Games, Utah has staged more than 175 international winter sports events including more than 60 World Cup events, as well as seven world championships and numerous other sporting and non-sporting events. Utah is now an established training hub for world-class athletes and home to three U.S. sport governing bodies.

PART TWO? WINTER OLYMPICS 2030 AND BEYOND

U.S. Olympic Committee Officials have acknowledged the possibility of Salt Lake City hosting the 2030 Olympic Games stating that the games returning to Utah could happen "as early as 2030." However, with the U.S. already hosting the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles– it may be until the 2034 games or beyond before we see another return. There's no doubt that a Winter Olympics return would be massive for our state, especially with the rapid growth we've seen over the past few years.

 

Photo courtesy of Park City Ski & Snowboard | Source: Salt Lake City 2002: from adversity to success

 

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