Park City mayor: World Championships show Park City ready for Winter Olympics
The mayor of Park City on Sunday trumpeted the FIS World Championships in freestyle as evidence of the community’s ability to host a second Winter Olympics, using brief remarks during the event’s closing ceremonies to tout the city as a place that is ready for another Games.
Mayor Andy Beerman appeared on stage on lower Main Street with FIS World Championships organizers early in the evening as the officials celebrated what they considered to be a successful event, billed as the largest winter sports gathering in the state since the Winter Olympics of 2002. Beerman told the crowd the FIS World Championships demonstrated Park City’s capacity to stage large-scale special events.
“It’s quite an opportunity and an honor to have this event here, and it has really allowed us to show the world how ready and willing we are to host major games like the Olympics,” Beerman said.
The mayor did not discuss details about the efforts to secure a second Winter Olympics in the state, likely the 2030 edition. Beerman is a member of the Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee and is City Hall’s representative in the talks about a second Games.
The United States Olympic Committee in late 2018 selected Salt Lake City as the nation’s bid city for a future Games. The USOC and the Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee are interested in the Olympics of 2030. The supporters of the bid cite the Olympic region’s continued success in staging major winter sports events like the FIS World Championships as one of the competitive advantages of the Salt Lake City efforts.
Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort each hosted competitions during the FIS World Championships. Both of the resorts are identified as Olympic competition venues in the Olympic bid, as was the case during the Winter Olympics in 2002.
The FIS World Championships ran from Feb. 1 until Sunday with athletes competing in freeskiing, moguls, aerials, snowboarding, slopestyle and halfpipe.
“In Park City, we love winter sport. We love big events. We have Olympic-sized and Olympic-quality venues, which we continue to maintain. And we are winter’s favorite town,” Beerman said.
He also said the athletes who competed during the FIS World Championships could inspire youngsters in Park City to pursue winter sports.
“I’m hoping, just like in 2002, they’re going to motivate some of our local youth to train harder and to be inspired and come back and compete here, hopefully, in 2030 at a future Olympics or a future World Championship.”
The mayor said the FIS World Championships were thrilling and thanked the International Ski Federation for selecting the state for the event. He also thanked the event volunteers as well as numerous rank-and-file workers in the community like snowmaking crews, snow-grooming teams, lift operators, people in the restaurant industry, snowplow operators and the public safety agencies.
“And everybody that worked day and night to make this a possibility. They’re still standing. Hopefully, they’ll get a break this week,” Beerman said.
Other speakers at the closing ceremonies also mentioned the Winter Olympic prospects in their remarks to the crowd. Emcee Sean Smith, who is from Park City and competed as a mogul skier in the Winter Olympics, said the FIS World Championships advanced the efforts to secure another Games.
“Everybody wants to come to Utah. This was huge. We’re looking to get the Olympics back here, as you may or may not know. And this was a huge step to that,” Smith said.
“Even the dogs were celebrating the reemergence of the sun.”