Park City’s global welcome mat offers antidote to Trump’s isolationism
The Park Record editorial, Feb. 1-3, 2017
This month will mark the 15th anniversary of the year Utah hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and from the looks of the international banners and brightly colored team jackets around town this week, it is apparent Park City is still a welcoming hub for international athletes.
The world’s top freestyle and mogul athletes are here to compete in the VISA Freestyle International World Cup at Deer Valley as they begin their long road toward qualifying for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. In the meantime, Soldier Hollow and the Utah Olympic Park, both of which served as venues in 2002, are full of top-notch Nordic skiers from 40 nations who are competing in the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships.
Tonight they will all converge on Main Street for a free concert and street dance.
The multicultural events are a happy contrast to President Trump’s controversial efforts to wall off our country and ban travel from various parts of the world.
It’s important to remember that in 2002, too, the fear of terrorism loomed large on the horizon. Utah’s Olympics took place just five months after the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington.
For some, the fear of another terror attack overshadowed years of planning and anticipation and there was talk of cancelling the event. But others persevered believing the Games would help the world heal. Instead of huddling in isolation they chose to celebrate their common aspirations and the Games were a tremendous success.
Summit and Wasatch County citizens should be extremely proud of the role they are playing on the international stage again this week. While the focus may be on the athletes’ respective disciplines, they know the events are not just about sports, but global sportsmanship, as well.
Our politicians would be wise to follow their lead.
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Our view: With the pandemic receding in Summit County thanks to a remarkably effective vaccination campaign, most of the events we love are returning. And that’s reason to celebrate after such a challenging year.