A parade during 30mph wind gusts and no holiday announced? Why yes, of course! If you were navigating your way through the winds of Tuesday afternoon on Main Street around 5:30pm you most likely saw Utah’s Olympic athletes. Over a dozen athletes participated in this year’s most recent 2010 Vancouver games and like a proud mother Park City was ready to show them off to you! Some faces you may have recognized in the parade were – Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, Olympic aerialists and silver medalists, Ted Ligety, Park City born and raised World Cup 2010 champion and Billy Demong, another born and raised local who earned both gold and silver medals in the Nordic combined. The parade traveled down historic Main Street, stopping at the town lift plaza for a live performance from the School of Rock Show Band and autograph signing. If you missed this, well this city will always be like a proud mother and will be showing off her stars in four years to come. But if you don’t want to wait that long then just head up to any of Park City’s and Utah’s world class resorts and Olympic sites and you will likely find our athletes training hard every day for the next four years to continue their Olympic dreams.
The month of February during a Winter Olympic year is always exciting. I would say it is definitely the best reason for anybody to have an excuse to watch TV for an absurd amount of time, every day, for two weeks. But the winter Olympics is so much more for the town of Park City who can proudly boast that we have seven truly local Parkites competing in the 2010 Olympic Games. This is a bit long for a blog I know, but when you have this many local Olympians to brag about, the brevity of a blog can easily be ignored.
Brett Camerota is 24, a Nordic combined athlete, and besides being born in Salt Lake has spent his entire life in Park City. Camerota was 10th after the jumping portion of the Nordic combined and came out in 36th after the cross country skiing portion.
Steve Holcomb, “little Steve” as his family calls him, is a 30-year-old native of Park City. Holcomb was a football player and ski racer before discovering bobsled at the 2002 Olympics. His sheer power of his 5’10” 210lb body has made him a major threat in the bobsledding world where he intends to stay.
Anders Johnson, the youngest of the locals group at 20, is a Ski Jumper who qualified for his first Olympics at age 16! An interesting thing about Anders is that his older sister Alyssa is a part of the women’s ski jumping team that has been fighting to have their place in the Olympics for many years now. Anders does a great job representing both he and his sister on the world stage and no doubt looks forward to competing with his sister at the Olympics in the next winter games (we are keeping our fingers crossed for these women, you should too!)
Ted Ligety, the Torino surprise, is a 25-year-old native who has lived and trained here his entire life with the Park City Ski Team. Ligety won gold in the Men’s alpine combined (slalom and downhill in one day) in 2006 and has been a force to reckon with ever since. And if you are interested in wearing your ski gear in Olympian fashion check out www.shredoptics.com it is Ligety’s very own Goggle, Sunglass and Helmet brand!
On the ladies side of alpine skiing is 22-year-old Megan McJames. While possibly the sweetest and most soft spoken person you will ever meet on the street, steer clear on the race hill. Her small frame may not look like much against some of the other women you may see, but her power and desire make her a hulk of the hill on course.
Nate Roberts is a 26-year-old Moguls man. You would never know that he was out for the 2008-2009 season with a knee injury when watching him fly down the course with ease. And even though he ended in 16th, a position he is not used to being in, fans can bet that he will be back on the podium soon enough. That seems to be the Roberts way.
So show your Olympic and American pride and brag to your friends about the town you got to visit which hosts more Winter Olympic athletes than any other.
Enjoy this last weekend of the 2010 Winter Games. Go team USA and Go Park City!