Park City readies bash to celebrate 20th anniversary of 2002 Winter Olympics |

Park City readies bash to celebrate 20th anniversary of 2002 Winter Olympics

Pin trading, Beijing broadcast and athletes from previous Games expected at event

The Olympic Welcome Plaza, located at the intersection of Kearns Boulevard and S.R. 224.
Park Record file photo

Park City in February plans to celebrate a past Winter Olympics.

And then in April the community wants to mark the Games of 2022.

There is work underway to hold two events in Park City in coming months related to the Olympics. February will be the 20th anniversary of the 2002 Winter Olympics, and Park City is expected to be one of the places to commemorate the Games of that year. In April, weeks after the Winter Olympics are scheduled to close in Beijing, an Olympic parade is slated in the city.

Only limited details have been publicized about the two events. The Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents the interests of businesses in the Main Street core, provided information in materials that were distributed in anticipation of a meeting of the organization’s board of directors.

According to the Historic Park City Alliance materials, the event honoring the 20th anniversary of the Games of 2002 is scheduled on Feb. 12 from 2-6 p.m. The materials indicate the gathering will include a livestream of the Olympic competitions in China.

Athletes who competed in the Games in 2002 will greet the crowd. There will also be sports demonstrations and the popular Olympic activity of pin trading. Details about the athletes who plan to attend were not included in the materials, but there are a number of them with ties to the Park City area.

The materials did not outline the scale of the event or an expected crowd size. They indicated, though, that one day — Feb. 10 — is for the loading and the setting up of the necessary infrastructure while the next day is set aside for permitting. The day after the event is designated for removing the setup. The multi-day schedule points to the likelihood the event will be of a sizable scale.

It seems almost certain the event will be the largest in Park City marking the Games of 2002 since the 10th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. The event that year resembled much of what is described in the Historic Park City Alliance materials although there was not an Olympics occurring at the time of that gathering like there is scheduled to be in February.

The Park City area hosted approximately half of the competitions during the Olympics in 2002. Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park were major competition venues. Main Street was turned into a pedestrian-only zone that drew large crowds and became one of the top places to celebrate the Games. The community’s Olympic legacy remains a point of pride for many Parkites, and there are a variety of physical reminders of the Games, such as the Olympic Welcome Plaza at the intersection of Park Avenue and Kearns Boulevard.

More details about the event are expected to be released during the City Hall permitting process for the event.

The materials from the Historic Park City Alliance also highlight a planned event on April 1, which is designed to highlight Utah-linked athletes who will have competed in the Winter Olympics in Beijing as well as athletes from earlier Games. A Main Street parade is expected to anchor the event.

The anniversary event and the one celebrating the athletes of the Games of 2022 will occur at around the time there is expected to be increased activity in the efforts to hold a second Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the wider Olympic region. The International Olympic Committee after the close of the Games in Beijing will likely turn its attention to selecting a host for the Winter Olympics of 2030. Salt Lake City sees there being a possibility of being selected for those Games. The Park City area has a significant role in the Salt Lake City bid for another Games.

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