Utah Olympic Park gears up for Olympic Day
Annual event to include music, food and complimentary activities
The 2002 Winter Olympics certainly left its imprint on Park City.
In fact, the Games’ fingerprints are littered throughout town. There’s the Olympic Welcome Plaza on the corner of Kearns Boulevard and Park Avenue. There’s the Nordic ski jumps, as well as the bobsled and luge tracks, at Utah Olympic Park, still functioning and available for use. And who can forget the local ski resorts that hosted a plethora of events, too?
The Olympic spirit, though it’s been 17 years since the Games were hosted in Utah, is still well and alive in Park City. It’s why Utah Olympic Park will join more than 2,000 other sites nationwide to celebrate Olympic Day.
“We’re so excited,” said Kole Nordmann, the Park’s marketing manager. “It’s one of those things we do every year. It’s something that we like to do just to share the Olympic spirit, especially going into the Olympic year. We want to make it something special for everyone.”
The celebration at Utah Olympic Park will take place Sunday, June 25, even though the Olympic Day holiday is scheduled annually for June 23. Nordmann said that among the 2,000 sites, most will take place on different days throughout the weekend.
While many in the nation will take part in the celebration, Park City is unique. Many Olympians were born here, grew up here or moved here to train. Athletes such as Ted Ligety, Sage Kotsenburg and Joss Christensen fit in all three categories.
Some Olympic freeskiers and snowboarders, as well as Olympic medalist Valerie Fleming, are expected to be present Sunday for a meet-and-greet autograph session.
“These guys are just regular people,” Nordmann said. “Have some fun. Talk with some Olympians, current and former. Get their signature. Just kind of ask them about their experience and what it was like.”
Each year’s celebration carries a unique feeling, Nordmann added, but this year’s Olympic Day will be like years past. A DJ will play music and the Park will grill burgers and other food, as well.
There will also be a handful of activities for kids, such as bounce houses and face painting. Children will also be able to construct their own Olympic medals or torches, while the National Ability Center will bring a virtual biathlon experience with an adaptive twist.
“It will be really neat,” Nordmann said. “You put on some goggles and it impairs your vision or your hearing and it allows you to go through the virtual biathlon course.”
The celebration will also include the first Flying Ace Allstar show of the year, where Olympic-level athletes will perform tricks off of the water ramps at Utah Olympic Park.
While the main celebration at the base of the Park is free for all, the Flying Aces show will require a chunk of change.
“You do have to buy tickets for the Flying Aces show,” Nordmann said. “If they want to go to the show, it’s $12 for adults and $7 for youth.”
Though the Olympic spirit has never left Park City, Utah Olympic Park is looking forward to putting it at the forefront for at least one day.
“We are always pleased to take part in Olympic Day and inspire kids from all over Utah,” said Colin Hilton, CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, in a press release for the event. “Both Utah Olympic Oval and Park are proud to support the Olympic Movement and encourage children to lead healthy, active lives.”
Olympic Day Celebration activities are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and go until 2 p.m. The athlete meet-and-greet will take place from noon to 1 p.m. For information, visit UtahOlympicLegacy.org.
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