The inspiration provided by the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City motivated a generation of now hometown hero athletes like World Champion ski jumpers Lindsey Van and Sarah Hendrickson. With the buzz of a possible future Winter Olympics in the USA, the U.S. Olympic Committee recently visited the Utah Olympic Park for a birds eye view from the top of the two Olympic ski jumps.
The visit by the USOC leadership team was part of a two-day swing through both Denver and Salt Lake City. The two cities are courting the USOC for the right to bid for the 2030 Olympics. The USOC has indicated that its board would make a decision in December.
The five-person USOC team spent Tuesday, November 13 meeting with officials in Denver talking about its vision. Denver’s candidacy includes ski jumping and nordic combined in Steamboat Springs.
The USOC leadership then flew to Salt Lake City where it had a daylong tour visiting over a half-dozen venues including the Utah Olympic Park. They were treated to a ski jumper’s view at the top of the HS-134 meter Olympic large hill, peering down onto the valley below.
The ski jumps at the Utah Olympic Park are still used regularly for training and international competition. In December, the jumps, as well as Olympic cross-country trails at Soldier Hollow, will be the site of a FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup for both men and women, as well as a FIS Cup for ski jumping. Upwards of 20 nations will compete in the two events. That same week, the jumps and cross country stadium at Steamboat Springs’ Howelsen Hill will play host to a FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup.
“The Olympics are a remarkable motivator for youth,” said USA Nordic Executive Director Bill Demong, himself an Olympic champion who grew up in the Olympic village of Lake Placid and nearly tasted medal success in 2002. “We have a great spirit in America for the Olympics and would welcome the chance to host the world again. It would be a big boost for USA Nordic’s efforts with ski jumping and nordic combined.”
The USOC site visit team included current Chairman Larry Probst and his successor Suzanne Lyons, along with President and CEO Sarah Hirshland, Chief External Affairs Officer Patrick Sandusky and Managing Director of Bids and Protocol Chris Sullivan.