Editorial: As Pyeongchang Games unfold, we’ll dream on Park City’s Olympic future
There was no shortage of reasons to celebrate when the opening ceremony kicked off the start of the Pyeongchang Olympics on Friday.
Parkites basked in the excitement of the 2018 Games while the major news of the week at home was still swirling in the air: An exploratory committee says Salt Lake City should submit another Olympic bid, focusing their efforts on the 2030 Winter Olympics.
The announcement made official a result most folks were expecting, but it’s a thrilling development nonetheless. The thought of the world converging in our backyard once again, along with the celebrations on Main Street and general jubilee that accompany the Olympics, is tantalizing. And of course, it would be another opportunity to witness some of the greatest athletes on earth shredding the slopes at Deer Valley Resort or carving through a halfpipe at Park City Mountain Resort.
It turns out that experiencing that may not be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity after all.
The prospect of doing it all again is even more exciting set against the backdrop of the Pyeongchang Games. In Park City, there’s nothing that gets the blood pumping quite like Olympic competition. And as we watch athletes like Rosie Brennan and Ted Ligety vie for gold medals on the biggest stage in the world, we’ll daydream about seeing the next generation of homegrown stars do so in person.
For now, we’ll happily settle for rooting on the more than 50 Olympic athletes with ties to Park City from our television sets at home. They stand as the strongest reminder of how something as grand as helping host the Olympics can transform a community and are some of the main reasons the thought of doing it again is so exhilarating. Many of them were born and raised here, their Olympic dreams sparked when they experienced the 2002 Games in their hometown and fostered by organizations like the Youth Sports Alliance that sprouted from the success of the event.
By 2030, there’s no telling how many more Park City athletes will have grown up in that legacy. And another Games would advance that tradition immeasurably.
That’s not to mention the other benefits in store for our town if we helped put on another Olympics like the prestige of being a two-time host, the economic boost that would follow and things like transit infrastructure that would likely be added on the federal government’s dime in advance of the Games.
All of that, of course, is still a long ways off. But as we spend the next two weeks glued to our TVs watching the Pyeongchang Games unfold, knowing that a sequel to 2002 might be in store 12 years from now is itself a reason to cheer.
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Our view: It certainly won’t feel like Sundance in Park City. But we’re looking forward to taking advantage of the perks this one-of-a-kind festival has to offer.