Utahns have long called the snow here The Greatest Snow on Earth®. The successful Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games reinforced that reputation when the games broadcast Utah's dynamic mountain resorts and renowned snow to a global audience.
Skiing, snowboarding and skating were not invented in Utah, though one could make a case they were made great here. Visitors to Utah can not only explore Utah's Olympic Legacy at host venues and museums, but can skate the same record-setting ice at the Utah Olympic Oval, race the downhill at Snowbasin or test their skills on Park City-area resorts where moguls and slalom were held.
With each Olympic Games, Utah continues to shine on the biggest stage.
Take the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics: the first ever Olympic gold medal for Slopestyle snowboarding went to Park City's Sage Kostenberg.
Eleven other medals in Sochi went to athletes with Utah ties, including to skiers and snowboarders who perfected their aerials, twists and landings in Utah. A total of 55 athletes competed for the U.S. with ties to Utah, including those who live here, were educated here or called Utah home during their training. Based on ties to the state, the "country" of Utah alone achieved a top-ten finish in the medal count.
It is impossible not to get inspired watching premier athletes competing at the highest level. When you or your kids want to get involved in an Olympic winter sport, you'll want to plan a trip to Utah.
Make your Olympic-inspired dreams a reality in Utah. Learn how you and your family can get involved from the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation's president and CEO, then read more below:
The 2002 Winter Games were held in Salt Lake City and the surrounding Wasatch Mountain communities, where the Olympic Legacy thrives today.
If you have not tried Utah's legendary snow, or are longing to hit it again, the time is now.
When you visit Utah you'll find everything from Olympic-caliber downhill to the Fastest Ice on Earth at your fingertips, and all within an hour of Salt Lake City International Airport.
Oh, and while Snowbasin was the site of the epic men's and women's downhill, it's just one of 11 resorts along the Wasatch Front. You could ski a different resort everyday for six-straight days, and still only access to a portion of Utah's 26,000 skiable resort acres. Why limit yourself?
See how close it all can be: check out the map at Ski Utah showing all 15 of Utah's world-class ski resorts.
Here's a snapshot of your potential journey into Utah's Olympic Legacy:
Get whiplash watching the pros whiz by or take a ride for yourself on the official bobsleigh track at the Utah Olympic Park, where Americans Jill Bakken and Vonetta Flowers won the first-ever Olympic women's bobsleigh competition.
Hit the bumps at Deer Valley Resort on the historic Champion moguls course, where American Shannon Burke took Silver in 2002.
Got the need for speed? Test your mettle on the 1.77-mile Grizzly Downhill run at Snowbasin Resort, one of the steepest and fastest downhill ski courses in the history of the Games.
Carve some corduroy at Park City Mountain Resort Eagle Race Arena, where in 2002 a young American named Bode Miller came from behind in the men's combined alpine skiing event to win Silver. Park City also hosted the giant slalom, snowboarding parallel giant slalom and snowboarding halfpipe events for both men and women.
In addition, two official legacy facilities can introduce you to your inner Olympian while additional host sites can help round out your winter vacation experience. Read on, or download a printable one-sheet to have all the information at your fingertips.
Utah's Olympic Facilities
The facilities for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games are part of our Olympic legacy, each specializing in year-round athlete training and public participation in the events that were held at the facilities during the games.
Utah Olympic Park
The Utah Olympic Park, outside of Park City, truly defines Utah as an international winter sports capital. An official U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) training site, the park features four Nordic ski jumps, summer and winter freestyle aerial jumps, and a bobsled/luge/skeleton track.
Visitors can take a 70 mph ride on a bobsled, participate in an introductory Olympic sports camp, or watch aspiring Olympians train. Tours highlighting the history of skiing sports and Utah's 2002 Olympic Winter Games are available at two on-site museums: the Alf Engen Ski Museum, and George Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum, (435) 658-4240. In the summer, guests can take a ride on the state-of-the-art Quicksilver alpine slide, glide on the world's steepest zipline or catch a freestyle aerial show every Saturday at noon. The Olympic Park is open year-round, and there is no charge to watch athletes train or to tour the museums. For more information, please call (435) 658-4200, or visit www.utaholympiclegacy.com.
Utah Olympic Oval
Kearns, a suburb west of Salt Lake City, is the home to "The Fastest Ice on Earth." The Utah Olympic Oval is where 8 out of 10 world speed skating records were shattered during the games. Today, anyone can lace up a pair of skates for a skate on the 400-meter track, take a class in figure skating or curling, and sit back to witness top athletes train to beat their personal bests. Call (801) 963-6825, or visit http://utaholympiclegacy.com/oval/.
Soldier Hollow, in the stunning Heber Valley, was the Nordic skiing venue for the games. In addition to the beautifully manicured cross-country ski trails, it now has the longest tubing lanes in the country. Athletes of world-class ability and weekend recreationists enjoy the facility year-round. Call (435) 654-2002, or visit www.soldierhollow.com.
Peaks Ice Sheet
As a venue for the Olympics, the Peaks Ice Arena in Provo has two Olympic-size ice sheets providing fun, year-round activities for all ages such as ice skating, ice hockey, broom ball, floor hockey, figure skating and indoor soccer, 100 North Seven Peaks Blvd., Provo, UT 84606, (801) 852-7465.
Ogden Ice Sheet
Ogden's Ice Sheet, site of Olympic Curling events, is a year-round community ice recreation center. Activities include hockey, skating lessons, and curling. Call (801) 399-8750 for more information.
Utah Ski Resorts
It all, Utah has 15 world-class ski resorts, 11 of which can be accessed in under an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport. For Olympians, the close proximity of Utah's Wasatch Front resorts and metropolitan corridor meant less time in transit between resorts, venues, lodging and world-class local dining. For you, it means a more enjoyable vacation.