Projects back up U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s vision | ParkRecord.com

Projects back up U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s vision

The Park Record editorial, July 12-14, 2017

By the end of this week, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard team is hoping to complete its most recent addition to the Utah Olympic Park: Project JUMP.

The new facility will contain two jumps built with artificial in-runs that will launch athletes into inclined airbags.

The concept of the new technology is to simulate the feeling of landing on snow without any actual snow, meaning big-air and slopestyle snowboarders and freeskiers will be able to train year-round.

Project JUMP is one of many changes the U.S. Ski & Snowboard team has undergone since the last Winter Olympics in 2014. Two summers ago, Utah Olympic Park opened the Spence Eccles Olympic Freestyle Pool for aerial athletes.

Moves made by the team within the last four years are geared toward the new, re-branded vision of attempting to be the "best in the world."

Last month, the team hosted its annual Partner Summit in Park City, in which becoming the best — from the slopes to the jumps to the tracks — was an overarching theme.

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Many talk about being the best, but the U.S. Ski & Snowboard team is putting forth the effort to also walk the talk with tasks such as Project JUMP, as well as other efforts made by the team and its partners in the last four years.

In Sochi almost four years ago, Russia topped the medal count, earning five more overall medals than the United States (and four more golds). These new facilities will allow athletes to train any day of the year, which in turn, should produce more medals in PyeongChang, South Korea, come February. At least that's the hope.

Not only that, the new facilities could bode well for the next generation of winter sport athletes. It's no surprise a decent number of Olympians were born in or have lived in Park City at some point, and many of the area’s youth programs will be able to regularly use the new facilities.

Additionally, other programs from around the country will flock to Park City during the summer months in order to get training in that they can't get elsewhere. All of this points toward a bright future.

Whether the new facility is ready by Saturday (the goal) or early next week (the more realistic possibility), it doesn't matter. With the Olympic Games still about seven months away, athletes in town will have ample time to utilize Project JUMP.

The future may be now, as the United States is aiming for the top spot in 2018. But thanks to recent additions at Utah Olympic Park, as well as the re-branded efforts of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard team, success should follow for years to come, too.