Olympic delegation expected in Park City for World Championships
The United States Olympic Committee is expected to have a presence in Park City during the FIS World Championships, the largest competition held locally since the Winter Olympics in 2002 and an international skiing and snowboarding event that has drawn wide attention to the area in the weeks after Salt Lake City was selected as the nation’s bid city for a future Winter Olympics.
The USOC was expected to send a contingent to Park City for the World Championships regardless given the high-profile nature of the event. But the December selection of Salt Lake City as the bid city makes the event and the USOC presence even more noteworthy. Salt Lake City’s bid for the Winter Olympics of 2030 remains in the early stages and it seems unlikely discussions between the USOC officials and leaders in the local Olympic efforts will move into details during the FIS World Championships.
Still, though, the USOC delegation will visit two of the proposed venues for an Olympics in 2030 — Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort. Both of the resorts have long histories of hosting international-level events, and both were venues during the Winter Olympics in 2002. Each of the resorts will host FIS World Championships competitions.
The USOC presence will provide an opportunity for the Colorado Springs, Colorado, organization to meet Park City-area officials in what will likely be an informal setting rather than the formal meetings expected in coming years as the bid for 2030 is crafted. Although a Salt Lake City-based committee will prepare the details of a bid, the USOC will hold a key role as the bid is forwarded to the International Olympic Committee for consideration.
The USOC delegation is not expected to make public statements about the Salt Lake City bid while it is in Park City. The USOC officials are also not expected to be available to the press.
Park City Mayor Andy Beerman, a member of the Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee and the City Hall official working most closely on the Games efforts, said he plans to join the USOC officials for lunch and a tour of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Center of Excellence, a training facility at Quinn’s Junction. The Center of Excellence is designed to boost the country’s competitiveness in snow sports.
The mayor said he does not expect formal discussions or negotiations during the USOC visit. Instead, he said, building relationships will be important in the next week. Beerman also said the USOC officials could learn about the proposed Olympic venues, transportation infrastructure and Park City’s ability to manage large events. He also said Park City’s commitment to winter sports and the high level of interest by Park City youngsters in the sports can be highlighted.
“Yet another opportunity to show our capabilities,” Beerman said about the USOC visit.
The FIS World Championships run until Feb. 10 at PCMR, Deer Valley and Solitude Mountain Resort. The USOC focus will be on PCMR and Deer Valley as Solitude, in Big Cottonwood Canyon, is not identified as a potential Olympic venue.
“Even the dogs were celebrating the reemergence of the sun.”