A 2002 Winter Olympic anniversary nears, and Park City by then could be in bid for second Games
Progress expected in the 12 months before the 20th anniversary next February
The 19th anniversary of the opening of the 2002 Winter Olympics will likely pass on Monday with little fanfare.
A year from now, as the Park City area and the wider Olympic region reaches the 20th anniversary, though, it seems likely there will be various commemorations and reunions, depending on whether the spread of the novel coronavirus is halted by then and gatherings are allowed.
Adding to the excitement would be the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and the prospects of athletes with ties to the Park City area reaching the podium, as has repeatedly been the case in earlier Games.
And by February of 2022, there could be further movement on the region’s efforts to host a future Winter Olympics, perhaps as early as the 2030 edition.
The International Olympic Committee is focused on preparations for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which were delayed from 2020 out of concern for the coronavirus. It is expected the IOC will turn some of its attention to the bidding for the Winter Olympics in 2030 once the Games in Tokyo close. The Games in 2030 will be the next awarded.
The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, the group that is preparing the Olympic region’s bid, over the last year has continued its work as it crafts the details of the bid.
Colin Hilton, who is a vice-chair of the board of directors of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, said in an interview as the anniversary approached the region as early as a year from now could be amid the bidding process for the Olympics of 2030. Hilton is also the president and CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation as well as once serving in a high-ranking role in the organizing committee that put on the Games in 2002, making him one of the Park City area’s most influential winter sports figures.
The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games in the fall of 2020 said there had been ongoing talks with the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee about a bid, but a timeline for key decisions at that point was unclear. It is also undetermined whether the region will bid for the Games in 2030 or the event four years later.
The Park City area would play an important role in a future Games, as it did in 2002. Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park have been identified as major competition venues while a celebration zone would likely be planned on Main Street.
Hilton said there is a goal for facilities like the Utah Olympic Park to be “Olympic ready by the year 2027.” The efforts involve repairing, replacing or improving the facilities that would be used in a Games. He listed refrigeration upgrades to the bobsled track at the Utah Olympic Park and upgrades to a snowmaking system at Soldier Hollow as examples.
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The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee is expected to temporarily open a location along Main Street during the Winter Olympics in February. The USOPC and a related foundation will organize a Team USA Hospitality House at the Kimball Terrace.