Welcome to the Utah Travel Center information page for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, which occurred February 8 – 24, 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Utah’s Olympic Facilities Keep The Dream Alive
The Utah Athletic Foundation is the caretaker of the Utah Olympic Park, Soldier Hollow and Utah Olympic Oval, the legacy facilities from the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The afterglow of the Games can be found in the array of programming for novice, recreational and high-performance athletes.
“These facilities are living and breathing legacies of the Olympic Games,” said Mark Lewis, UAF president and CEO. “Our mission is to maintain the commitment that Utah citizens made to sport by building these facilities. We aim to operate them in perpetuity and make them a viable part of the community with activities for athletes of all ages and abilities.”
The Utah Athletic Foundation, a nonprofit organization, inherited the facilities in May 2002 after being designated by the State of Utah to manage their post-Games operations. The Utah Olympic Park near Park City was the venue for ski jumping, Nordic combined and the sliding sports of bobsled, skeleton and luge. The Utah Olympic Oval hosted world and Olympic record-breaking performances in speed skating. Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park served as the busiest venue during the Games, hosting 23 events in biathlon, cross-country skiing and Nordic combined.
These venues have been transformed into community facilities that are open to the public for post-Games usage. There are learning programs in the Olympic winter sports, public skating opportunities on the “Fastest Ice On Earth,” tours of the facilities, bobsled public passenger ride programs, ski jumping and freestyle aerial shows, Olympic photo gallery and the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center/Alf Engen Ski Museum. All these activities complement each other for an incredible Olympic experience.
All three venues were built and operated by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee to provide a world-class venue for sport during the 2002 Games. International athletes, officials and visitors dubbed the sites among the best facilities in the world with rave reviews. The Utah Olympic Park is known for the world’s highest altitude ski jumps and fastest sliding track. The Utah Olympic Oval is recognized for its record-breaking ice surface. Soldier Hollow is admired for its spectator-friendly sightlines and challenging terrain for skiers. Together, the three legacy venues enhance the UAF’s mission of providing first-rate training and competition sites for high-performance athletes as well as recreational opportunities for the local community.
The Utah Olympic Park and Utah Olympic Oval maintain their world-class status as the facilities continue to host major international competitions. Soldier Hollow, with its 31-kilometer network of trails and shooting range for biathlon, hosted three World Cup events in 2001 with one each in biathlon, cross country and Nordic combined.
Utah Olympic Oval
The Oval, which was completed in March 2001, has been recognized as the premier speed skating facility in the world after 10 Olympic records and eight world records were set during the 2002 Games. Because of its altitude at 4,675 feet and the quality of the ice-making, it is truly known as the “Fastest Ice On Earth.”
The $30 million facility consists of five acres under a clear span suspension roof and houses a 400-meter speed skating oval, two international size ice sheets, a four-lane 442-meter running track, eight 110-meter sprint lanes, spacious locker facilities and team rooms, World Record Lounge and meeting rooms, concession stands, Oval Gifts and Gear Pro Shop, skate rental and skate sharpening services.
For recreational users, “Learn To” programs are available for adults and children in skating, speed skating, figure skating, hockey and curling. Top instructors lead camps and classes for people of all ages and abilities. Skate and helmet rentals are free during “Learn To” lessons. Leagues have begun in different sports. Utah’s first All Girls Hockey League has been started as well as adult recreational hockey leagues. Other activities include running on an indoor mondo surface track around the oval and the aerial bungee jumping system, which lifts people 25 feet in the air.
There is open ice for public skating five days a week. The cost is $4 for adults, $3 for children and $2 for skate rental. There are also open drop-in sessions for ice hockey, sledge hockey and curling. Call (801) 968-OVAL for the complete schedule.
For high-performance athletes, the Oval is the home training facility for USA Olympic medalist Derek Parra and German medalist Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt. They are part of the FAST (Facilitated Athlete Sport Training) program under the direction of head coach Bart Schouten. For up-and-coming athletes, certified coaches provide guidance through the STEP (Skate, Technique, Endurance and Power) program that matches their development.
The Utah Olympic Oval is located in Kearns at 5662 South 4800 West. For more information, call (801) 968-OVAL (6825) or visit the website at www.utaholympicoval.com.
Utah Olympic Park
Cradled by the Wasatch Mountains, the 389-acre Utah Olympic Park is a unique setting as the site for Nordic jumping and the sliding sports of bobsleigh, luge and skeleton. The state-of-the-art park is used for national and international competitions and serves as a year-round training ground for novice, development and high-performance athletes.
The facility includes six Nordic ski jumps (K10, K20, K40, K65, K90, K120), a 1,335-meter sliding track with five start areas, freestyle aerials winter training and competition hill, 750,000-gallon freestyle aerials summer training pool, a 15,000-square foot day lodge, Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center and Alf Engen Ski Museum. The jumping hills-at an elevation of 7,310 feet above sea level-are the world’s highest. The track is one of just 14 competition-certified tracks in the world.
Visitors are treated to a guided tour of the park, athlete training sessions, 70 mile-per-hour bobsled rides in summer and winter, an Olympic photo gallery, an interactive museum with the history of skiing in Utah, freestyle aerial and ski jumping shows on summer weekends and a variety of camps for skiers and snowboarders of all ages.
From beginners to young and aspiring athletes, the Utah Olympic Park conducts one to six-day camps in freestyle aerials and ski jumping each summer. A 750,000-gallon training “splash” pool is the landing area for the aerialists who practice their twists and turns and develop their techniques. Ski jumpers learn how to get airborne on the smaller jumps before graduating to the Olympic jumps which feature plastic runways and landing zones. In the winter, coaching and learning programs are offered in ski jumping, freestyle aerials and luge for athletes of all abilities and ages.
At the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center, the Alf Engen Ski Museum was built to preserve the rich history of skiing in the Intermountain region by providing a world-class facility, which highlights the many contributions made in ski area development, athletic competition, snow safety, ski innovation and ski teaching methods.
The Utah Olympic Park is located near Park City off Highway 224 at Kimball Junction. The street address is 3000 Bear Hollow Drive. The Park is open daily. Admission fees, which include the guided tour and museum, are $7 for adults age 18 and older, $5 for youth (13-17) and seniors (65+) and $3 for children (3-12). Those age 2 and under are free. For more information, call the Utah Olympic Park at (435) 658-4200 or visit the website at www.utaholympicpark.com.
Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park hosted 23 events during the Olympic Winter Games and 15 events during the Paralympic Winter Games in February and March 2002. With Mt. Timpanogos as a spectacular backdrop, Soldier Hollow was the busiest venue during the Games with Olympic competition in cross-country skiing, biathlon and the skiing portion of Nordic combined. During the Games, the venue showcased the Western Experience with American West music and entertainment, mountain rendezvous, pioneer reenactments, cowboy camps and a wild mustang exhibit.
The 600-acre facility features 31 kilometers of trails, target and shooting range for biathlon, competition management building, utility upgrades and access roads. Soldier Hollow offers year-round recreational opportunities in mountain biking, hiking, camping, snow-shoeing, biathlon and cross-country skiing. It features one of world’s highest-altitude courses, ranging in elevation from 5,528 to 5,742 feet.
Soldier Hollow has become the third jewel in the Utah Athletic Foundation’s crown of legacy facilities. The UAF is operating Soldier Hollow for a 21-month period, beginning in October 2002. Due to its late selection as an Olympic venue in October 1997, Soldier Hollow was not originally part of the legacy package that had been established to fund and operate the Utah Olympic Park and Utah Olympic Oval after the Games.
Athletes and officials proclaimed Soldier Hollow as one of the best-designed Nordic ski courses in the world because spectators rarely lost sight of competitors. Soldier Hollow hosted three World Cup events in 2001 with one each in biathlon, cross-country skiing and Nordic combined. While the venue continues to be recognized as a world-class facility, it is also a paradise for recreational athletes in a variety of summer and winter sports.
Winter programming includes the Olympic winter sports as well as a new tubing hill. Additional links in the cross-country trail system have been added so the course is easier for recreational skiers; but the Olympic loops are still in place for athletes desiring the most challenging terrain. A fully-equipped rental shop is available for equipment. Summer experiences include biathlon, a two-sport activity that mixes either running and shooting or mountain biking and shooting. Coaching and a safety session with the air rifle are all part of the biathlon session.
Soldier Hollow is a 600-acre in a corner of the 23,000-acre Wasatch Mountain State Park, a Heber Valley landmark on the east side of the Wasatch Mountains. The park is about 20 minutes from Park City and 55 minutes from Salt Lake City. For more information, contact Soldier Hollow at (435) 654-2002.
For more information, contact:
Salt Lake Organizing Committee
for the Olympic Winter Games of 2002
257 East 200 South, 6th Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84111