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Utah's Olympic Legacy: Utah taxpayers seeing payoff 10 years after the Games

By Nadine Wimmer | Posted - Feb. 1, 2012 at 10:16 p.m.



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PARK CITY — Reliving Utah's 2002 Olympic moments was the reason behind the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation's party in Park City Wednesday.

The foundation also paid tribute to athletes past and future — those competing in the Freestyle International World Cup event taking place this weekend at Deer Valley.

But you don't have to be an athlete, there is an Olympic victory in all this for every Utah taxpayer.

Beyond getting the 2002 Games, one of the goals of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee was to ensure the state got its money's worth of all the Olympic venues.

"I would say it's one of the best investments the state ever did, to promote the state as the 'World Capital of Sports,'" said Colin Hilton, with the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation.

Hosting the games brought Utahns more than pride. We invested in venues that are still producing dividends, and they have turned Utah into a destination for athletes around the world.

"These venues are the best in the world," said Catherine Raney Norman, a speed skater in the 2002 Winter Games. "My teammates and I used to tease that the oval is like Disney Land."

Norman eventually moved to Utah to train, live, and now coach.

Viewed in this light, taxpayers we met at the party believe preparing for the Olympics was worth the cost. The latest example of will be seen later this week: Deer Valley will host World Cup events, on what's considered the longest, steepest moguls run in the world.

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Nadine Wimmer

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