How it Started
In 2002, Utah hosted the world for the XIX Olympic Winter Games and the VIII Paralympic Winter Games. And by any measure, the 2002 Games were a success.
2500 Olympians representing 77 nations came to Utah to pursue their Olympic dreams. Incredible venues and ideal weather combined to create the perfect stage for the athletes to perform at their best.
The largest crowds ever for an Olympic Winter Games (a record that still holds today) filled the venues and cheered for every athlete, in every sport, from every country. And away from the venues, the partying and celebrating carried on well into the night.
The US Team won 34 medals at the 2002 Games, shattering their old record of 13. And athletes like Chris Klug, Derek Parra, Sarah Hughes, Jim Shea, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Vonetta Flowers all made history in their own special way, reminding the world of what the Olympic Games are really about -- sports.
Of course, the issue for all Olympic host cities is always the same...how will great Olympic memories turn into lasting benefits for the host community and country?
How it Lives On Today
The Utah Athletic Foundation - operating under the tradename Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation - is a Utah non-profit 501(c)(3) organization responsible for managing and maintaining our world-class Olympic legacy facilities and providing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to participate, educate, and excel in winter sports.
Building off the success of the 2002 Games, our core missions are to:
- Maintain, operate, and enhance Olympic Legacy Facilities
- Engage and involve more people – especially Utah’s youth – in winter sport
- Inspire, educate, and entertain the public through unique & exciting public offerings
- Improve the quality of youth sport and physical activity programs in Utah
- Ensure long term viability & relevance of Utah’s Olympic Legacy efforts