Festival of Flight at Utah Olympic Park Tomorrow to Honor Memory of Jeret Peterson

Park City, UT – On Saturday, Utah Olympic Park will host the Festival of Flight from noon until the completion of the 5 p.m. Flying Ace All Stars Fre…

via Festival of Flight at Utah Olympic Park Tomorrow to Honor Memory of Jeret Peterson.

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2018 Winter Olympics Host Revealed

The following is an article from Yahoo! Sports:

The Winter Olympics are going back to the Far East.

After two heartbreaking near-misses, Pyeongchang was named the host city of the 2018 Winter Games, winning in the first round of voting at the IOC bid meeting in South Africa. The South Korean city defeated Annecy, France, and Munich, Germany, in the vote.

Photo: Getty Images

Twice before, the South Korean city had come up short in bids to win the Olympics. Pyeongchang won the first two rounds of voting in 2010 and 2014 before being narrowly defeated on a second ballot by Vancover and Sochi, respectively. It entered Wednesday’s vote as the favorite, a position which hardly guaranteed a victory given the IOC’s penchant for surprises.

Those past votes, plus the fact that a win for France or Germany would have meant putting the Winter Games back in Europe for the fifth time in eight Olympics, gave Pyeongchang the status as a clear frontrunner. The power of the bid was confirmed when the city won on the initial vote, the first time that’s happened since 2001. Pyeongchang earned 63 votes compared to 25 for Munich and seven for Annecy.

Given those circumstances, two European cities going up against an Asian country was like a Democrat challenging Barack Obama in next year’s primaries. Not even the IOC could screw up this decision. Going to Pyeongchang was the easy call.

It’s the first time a Winter Olympics will be held in South Korea. The 1988 Summer Games were held in the capital city of Seoul.

Japan has hosted two Olympics, in 1972 in Sapparo and in 1988 in Nagano. South Korea’s victory is bad news for that country, which had been considered a favorite to win the 2020 Summer Games. It’s unlikely the IOC would go back to Asia for back-to-back Olympics.

Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-Na was in Durban, South Africa, for the announcement. The greatest living figure skater will be 27 when the flame is lit in South Korea. She was a key component of Pyeongchang’s bid, though it’s unknown whether she’ll still be competing at that time.

Durban to beat its Olympics drum

The following is an article posted on Times LIVE.

Olympic Rings

Photograph by: EDDIE KEOGH via TimesLIVE

Durban is preparing to catapult itself to the head of the queue as the host of the 2020 summer Olympics.

In July, an expected 2000 affiliates and guests of the International Olympic Commitee (IOC) will take over the city for its 123rd annual meeting – a first for Africa.

The gathering, from July 4 to 9, will allow Durban to display its wares when the name of the host city for the 2018 winter Olympics is announced.

Among those due to attend is Fifa boss Sepp Blatter, a key figure in securing the 2010 World Cup for South Africa, as well as A-list dignitaries, royalty and heads of state .

Durban has already played host to Fifa at the 2007 preliminary draw for the World Cup.

Tubby Reddy of South Africa’s Olympic governing body, Sascoc, this week had the fifth and final meeting with IOC officials and declared the city ready to host the Olympic movement’s plenary session.

Reddy said of the July gathering: “It’s a major opportunity. Of the 115 IOC members who are coming, 99% will be making the final decision in Buenos Aires in 2013. That’s why it is so important – impressions stay.”

The city – despite facing competition from Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth – is the frontrunner, thanks to the King’s Park sports precinct.

It boasts the Moses Mabhida Stadium, which was built for the World Cup, the Sharks’ rugby stadium, King’s Park Aquatic Centre, athletic facilities, country club and Umgeni River.

Reddy said that after the plenary session, he would start the formal process ahead of the announcement of South Africa’s candidate city by September 1.

The key to Durban’s chances is ensuring that the plenary session is faultless.

The communications manager of King Shaka International Airport, Colin Naidoo, said airport staff were already working to avoid a repeat of the debacle during last year’s World Cup, when scores of VIP jets on the tarmac prevented many fans from reaching the semifinal match between Spain and Germany.

Durban has built a reputation as a top sports destination. Established annual events include the Durban July horse race, the Comrades Marathon and the Dusi canoe marathon.

Ken Garff Keys to Success Winter Comet Ride

Below is an article posted on the Standard-Examiner about our Winter Comet Bobsled Ride:

Comet Bobsled

Olympic spirit rallies with speedy trip around bobsled track

Some kids get allowances, others are paid for their grades. Most of the time, I fall in neither category.

However, thanks to the Ken Garff Keys to Success program, I recently got to do something that more than compensated for all the lost years of free cash — winter bobsledding at the Utah Olympic Park.

The auto company’s program helps motivate and acknowledge high school students in their academic achievements. When I received a Keys to Success prize from one of my teachers, I carefully evaluated all the possibilities, wary of wasting my reward. The opportunity to whiz down a frozen track on a bobsled was appealing so I happily chose that.

After waiting months to take advantage of my prize, I finally got to experience the same feeling as an Olympian. I had butterflies as my dad and I drove up to Park City for my ride.

As we waited for orientation, we walked around the George Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum. Looking at the exhibits brought back cherished memories of watching the Olympics as a little kid. When I picked up a 40-pound curling stone, it was fun to remember being a second-grader and eating Chex Mix as a friend and I watched a curling match with my parents.

It was fascinating to see the artifacts from the opening and closing ceremonies and to picture the grandeur of the vivid performance all over again. The gleaming medals in the display case returned all the yearning of wanting my favorite athletes to win and the inspiration I felt as the national anthem was played. Feeling the Olympic spirit again added to the anticipation of my bobsled ride.

At orientation, the instructors told us about the procedures required when riding and what we could expect to happen. Everyone had to sign a contract stating that they understood they could be injured or even killed on their bobsled ride. Now, my excitement level started to do a nose dive toward China. The prospect of safely flying down the track sounded phenomenal but the thought of skidding down as a crumpled lump near a capsized sled sounded horrifying. I tried thinking that if many people died the sport wouldn’t be allowed, which helped me muster up a little extra courage to continue.

We loaded on a bus and headed to the top of the track. There we fit our helmets and anxiously waited in our bobsled teams for our turn. My team consisted of the driver, two men and myself. The men were from out of state and already knew each other. They were constantly teasing and talking about how our team was going to be the fastest. It added entertainment and a positive atmosphere to the wait.

Finally it was Team 6’s turn! My heart was pounding as I put on my snug red helmet and filed into the white bobsled. The park staff helped situate us in the correct positions, and I grinned as the sled slowly started to rumble down the chilly track. In an instant the sled was speeding down the course and zipping around the curves with tremendous force. I was instantly breathless! Everything was a blur as the sled whipped us around corner after corner, knocking my helmet into the sides of the sled.

And in the blink of an eye the ride was over. We had streaked down the track in less than one minute, going almost 80 miles per hour with five G forces pushing on our bodies. The feeling was exhilarating — and it was a relief to know I was still alive! A few minutes after the ride ended my head started to pound and my stomach lurched into my throat. Maybe it was because the sled had gone so fast that my body had barely caught up. All I could think about after the ride was how cool it was and how indescribable it felt.

The momentary rattle of the sled, the whistle of the whipping wind, and the instant blur of the world was worth every hour of sleep I lost doing homework and every penny I was never paid. It was a feeling I’ve never had before. It was a rush of emotion and senses that no other recipe could concoct.

I recommend a bobsled ride to every thrill-seeking adventurer out there. Put it on your bucket list and have the most dazzling ride of your life!

Our UOP Candy Basket on KPCW Radio

Our employee candy basket is featured on KPCW Radio‘s Tales From The Wasatch Back – http://t.co/8FzkDU1.

UOP Candy Basket

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The Night Train Visits Whole Foods

The Night Train Bobsled hung out at Whole Foods Market Park City last weekend in support of their Whole Planet Foundation fundraiser day on Saturday.

Did you visit Whole Foods this weekend and snap a pic in the bobsled?

Two-time Olympic skeleton racer Bernotas retires

Below is an article posted on universalsports.com

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Photo Credit: Associated Press

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Two-time U.S. Olympian Eric Bernotas has retired from skeleton, ending a 10-year racing career.

Bernotas found the sport by accident in 2001, getting lost on a drive through the Adirondacks and ending up at the Olympic Sliding Complex near Lake Placid. He became a full-time slider shortly afterward.

He retires with 12 World Cup medals, a silver medal from the 2007 world championships, four U.S. national crowns and Olympic appearances in 2006 and 2010.

The U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation announced his retirement Saturday.

Virtual Tours

Take a virtual tour of the Alf Engen Ski Museum and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games Museum.

Come visit us and see the Museums in person. Admission is free and we are open 7 days a week from 10 am – 6 pm.

Utah Olympic Park Bobsled Helmet Cam Footage

Check out this video taken from a helmet cam on the Comet Bobsled ride.