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The Legacy of the Olympics – Utah’s Lasting Impact

Less than a year after the 2014 Sochi, Russia Winter Olympic games, a Russian photographer Alexander Belenkiy returned to Sochi to photograph the once month-long thriving multi billion ghost town. http://www.businessinsider.com/sochi-olympics-ghost-city-2014-8

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Photo: Alexander Belenkiy/Macos

In contrast the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games were a tremendous success and continue to have a positive effect on the State of Utah leaving a lasting legacy. A record 250,000 visitors from around the world were able to experience Utah while attending the Games, and another 2.1 billion were exposed to the state through the global media coverage of the XIX Olympic Winter Games. The State of Utah also experienced significant economic growth as a result of the Games.

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2002 Salt Lake City, Utah Winter Olympic Games Photo: State of Utah Archives

All fourteen world-class venues created and enhanced for the Games continue to be used to host events, elite training and recreation programs. Over 50 World Cups or Championships have been hosted in the State of Utah since 2002. As a result of hosting the Olympics, these venues continue to operate with many of them still being used for athletes around the world to train along with the best athletes returning yearly to compete for the World Championships here in Utah.

The financial success of the Salt Lake Games provided an $85 million endowment to fund the Olympic Park and Olympic Oval into perpetuity. The Utah Athletic Foundation continues to excel in managing the endowment and utilizing the venues for hosting sporting and training events. For more information see www.olyparks.com.

Utah is home to three National Governing Bodies, the United States Ski & Snowboarding Association (U.S.S.A.), United States Speedskating (U.S.S.), and USA Team Handball (USATH) and continues to focus efforts on relocating other National Governing Bodies’s to the State.

Today Utah hosts more non traditional outdoor championship events with strong support from the Utah Sports Commission, which was created prior to 2002 to assist with the Legacy of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The organization partners with venues and numerous other organizations throughout the state to attract Olympic related and other major sporting events.

The State of Utah, Utah Sports Commission and the residents can be proud of the legacy built up from the Olympics and the other championship events hosted in the state. Utah really has become the “State of Sport”, a home where the best outdoors athletes come to train, live and compete for championships.

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