Olympic Anniversary Celebrations Kick Off in Park City

Olympic Anniversary Celebrations Kick Off in Park City

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News Specialist Keith McCord reporting What do you do when you host one of the most successful Olympics of all time? You follow up the next year, with a big anniversary party.

The party began today in Park City with the 2003 World Cup Freestyle Skiing competition.

All sorts of events are planned in Park City for the next 11 days, as well as in Salt Lake City. The Olympic cauldron is back up, and this will be one of the rallying spots for the event.

Yes, that's our governor strapping on a pair of ice skates at the Olympic Oval this morning.

And yes, that's him, along with some of the members of his staff skating with Olympic gold and silver medalist Derek Parra.

Today, Govornor Leavitt signed a proclamation officially kicking off "Winterfest 2003," our 1st anniversary Olympic party.

"The purpose of this celebration is not to re-do the Olympics, but to assure that the Olympic spirit is kindled and optimized," Leavitt says.

And why not? We did put on a pretty good show a year ago. From the Opening Ceremony, to the competitions, to the parties -- the world focused on us.

"It's said that when the 2002 Olympic Games were over, they were over. But the Olympic spirit will never die," Leavitt says.

During the next 11 days of "Winterfest," there will be World Cup competitions featuring many returning Olympic athletes. There will be special programs held at the various venues, and it will all come to a huge crescendo back at the stadium on February 8 when the cauldron lights up again.

Celebrating an Olympic anniversary isn't new -- other host cities have done it. And, don't be surprised to see us do it again and again, because economically it's good for the state.

"The advantage is the month of February is pretty slow time in the economy. So if we continue to celebrate this Winterfest and bring in the quality of World Cup events, it's just a positive move for us," says state Olympic officer Lane Beattie.

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