Park City-linked athletes like Ted Ligety, Lindsey Vonn added to Olympic bid efforts
The area given further influence on the committee pursuing a second Games for the region
The group pursuing a second Winter Olympics in the state on Wednesday boosted the representation of athletes, adding a roster of former Olympians and Paralympians that includes well-known names with ties to the Park City area.
The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games announced the addition of Park City-linked athletes to the governing board of directors and the larger strategic board of directors. Olympic skiing champion Lindsey Vonn, who lives in Park City, was put on the governing board. Another Olympic skiing gold medalist, Ted Ligety, who grew up in Park City and remains in the area, was selected as a member of the strategic board. Billy Demong, an Olympic champion in Nordic combined who lives in Park City, was also added to the strategic board.
It is a move that gives the community further influence as the bidding for a Games is expected to accelerate in the coming year. The additions from the Park City area on Wednesday complement what was already a prominent contingent of local representatives, most notably Mayor Andy Beerman and Colin Hilton, who is the president and CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation. Hilton on Wednesday was named to a newly formed executive committee.
The Park City area is crucial to the overall efforts to secure a second Games for Salt Lake City and the wider Olympic region. Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park are identified as major competition venues, as is Soldier Hollow in nearby Wasatch County. The area hosted upward of 50% of the competitions during the 2002 Winter Olympics and would have a similar role in a future Games. The efforts are targeting the Winter Olympics in 2030 or those four years later. It is not known when the International Olympic Committee will select a host for the Games in 2030.
The addition of Ligety will likely be of special interest in Park City. A native of the community, many Parkites have followed his career from his formative years with the organization now known as Park City Ski & Snowboard to the World Cup circuit and the Olympics. He is seen as a model example of the success of the area’s winter-sports programs for youths.
In another announcement on Wednesday, speed skater Catherine Raney Norman was tapped as the chair of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games. She competed in four consecutive Olympics, ending in 2010.
“As a future bid organization, we are really stewards of the Olympic and Paralympic movement,” Raney Norman said in a prepared statement released by the committee. “A major element of that stewardship is how we, in Utah, engage in all aspects of that movement to bring positive benefits to our communities.”
Fraser Bullock, the president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, in a prepared statement addressed the importance of the athletes to the efforts.
“As we move into a period of greater international engagement, having athletic-centric vision, input and oversight is vital to our efforts to bring the Games back to Utah,” Bullock said.
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