Record editorial: Park City’s Olympians have scored an odds-defying achievement
After months of buildup, the slate of athletes who will represent the U.S. in the Beijing Winter Olympics has been announced — and it has a distinct Park City flair.
That’s not a surprise given our town’s Olympic history and the fact that we always send a sizable contingent of competitors to the Games every four years. But seeing the names of the athletes with local ties who have earned a spot next month on one of the biggest stages in sports — and who will no doubt represent us well — ought to elicit a surge of pride from Parkites.
Will any of them return home from China with a medal draped around their neck? We’ll find out next month. And we’ll be rooting hard for their success when they step into the global spotlight.
But that’s a question for later. For now, they deserve our congratulations for what is already an odds-defying achievement worthy of celebration.
It’s impossible to say how many children in America grow up dreaming of one day competing in the Olympics. It’s certain, though, that the number of people who are able to turn that goal into reality is infinitely smaller. These Parkites will join that select group, or become part of an even more exclusive club by making their second, third or fourth Games appearance.
The magnitude of that accomplishment is impossible to overstate, as is the dedication it takes to reach it. These athletes have devoted their lives to their sports, becoming the very best in the world at what they do. And regardless of how they perform next month, the word “Olympian” will precede their names from here on, something they will carry with them the rest of their lives.
Of course, the athletes themselves aren’t the only ones who deserve plaudits. To put a twist on the cliche, it takes a village to raise an Olympian. The Park City presence that will shine in Beijing is a credit to everyone who pitched in, from Park City Ski & Snowboard coaches to Parkites whose donations fund the Youth Sports Alliance’s programming to all the people who’ve offered the athletes an encouraging word or two over the years.
This is a moment for pride — and one our community can savor for at least the next four years.
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As Park City plans for Pride Month, it needs to proceed with caution while considering the celebration. Park City would like to believe bathing the barn at the McPolin Farm in rainbow colors would win universal support, but we expect that would not be the case in a community of people with various political stripes, religions and personal beliefs.