Do you love the Olympics? Summer or Winter, I’m a fan.
I was a volunteer at the Salt Lake Ice Center in downtown Salt Lake City when the Winter Olympic Games came to Utah in 2002. I saw Sarah Hughes and Apollo Ohno win gold. When the pairs’ figure skating scandal happened, I was in the building. My assignment was practically on the ice for the figure skating exhibition. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.
I love watching the Olympics on television, but it’s even more fun to ski, skate and play at the Utah venues where Olympians competed in 2002. They are open to the public year-round and they are still training and competition venues for Olympians.
Here are 12 places where you can soak up the Olympic spirit in Utah.
The Opening and Closing ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games were held at Rice-Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The gigantic Olympic cauldron is located right outside the arena. Park in the stadium lot to walk around the cauldron and see other memorabilia from the 2002 Games. https://stadium.utah.edu/about/olympic/
Utah Olympic Park
Utah Olympic Park was the venue for bobsled, luge, skeleton and ski jump events. It’s still a training and competition facility, but it’s also a really fun destination for families. Utah Olympic Park has two small museums, and lots of exciting activities like zip lines, tubing down the ski jump hills, ropes courses, chair lift, aerial shows and more. Admission and museums are free. There is a charge for other activities. https://utaholympiclegacy.org/location/utah-olympic-park/
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Snowbasin hosted the downhill, combined and Super-G Olympic ski events. It’s one of three great ski resorts in the Ogden area. Snowbasin has my favorite beginner hill in Utah, and lots of challenging terrain for advanced skiers. The lodges are absolutely beautiful. https://www.snowbasin.com/
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Park City Mountain Resort
Park City is the largest winter resort in the United States. It hosted slalom and snowboarding events in 2002. My family loves skiing at Park City in the winter, and playing on the alpine slide, alpine coaster and other fun activities in the summer. https://www.parkcitymountain.com/
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Deer Valley Resort
Deer Valley is synonymous with luxury in Utah. It’s one of the top-rated resorts in the world, and it hosted freestyle moguls and aerials and alpine slalom events. Deer Valley is awesome for skiing, but my family’s favorite Deer Valley memory is the Deer Valley Seafood Buffet. We love seeing the Utah Symphony here in the summer too! http://www.deervalley.com/
Click the button to read my review of the Deer Valley Seafood Buffet
Soldier Hollow is located just outside of Midway – one of my favorite small towns in Utah. It’s a 30 minute drive from Park City or Provo, and there are loads of things to do there. One of my family’s favorite things to do in the winter is snow tubing at Soldier Hollow. It was the cross-country skiing venue, so of course, it’s excellent for that too. Biking and golf are fun in warm weather months. https://utaholympiclegacy.org/location/soldier-hollow/
Click the button to read my tips for snow tubing at Soldier Hollow.
The Olympic Oval is located in Kearns. It was the home of long track speed skating in 2002. It’s still a training facility for Olympic hopefuls, and it’s open to families for recreational use too. It’s a great place to learn figure skating, speed skating, curling or hockey. https://utaholympiclegacy.org/location/utah-olympic-oval/
Curling matches were held at the Ice Sheet in Ogden. I attended a curling workshop when the venue was newly built and it’s harder than it looks! This venue is located on the campus of Weber State University. It’s a fun and affordable place to ice skate, play hockey or watch a hockey game. http://www.webercountyutah.gov/Ice_Sheet/
Peaks Ice Arena
Peaks Ice Arena in Provo was home to Womens’ Hockey in 2002. Today, it is home to BYU and UVU Hockey, and recreational programs for families. In addition the ice sports, the venue has two indoor turf fields for soccer, lacrosse, rugby and ultimate frisbee. http://www.provo.org/community/peaks-ice-arena
Vivint Smart Home Arena
This arena in downtown Salt Lake City was known as the Salt Lake Ice Center. It hosted the figure skating and short track speed skating events. This was where I volunteered. Today, it is home to Utah Jazz basketball, concerts and many other special events. http://www.vivintarena.com/
My husband and I saw the gold medal game for the Paralympics Mens’ Hockey at this arena in West Valley City. We have seen several concerts here since. It’s also home to Utah Grizzlies’ Hockey. Whatever brings you here, it’s a fun place to be. http://www.maverikcenter.com/
It’s hard to believe how many years have passed since the 2002 Olympics because the Olympic spirit remains strong in Salt Lake City. Have you visited any of these Olympic venues? Which are your favorites?