Nordic Combined gold medalist Billy Demong
If Park City were its own country, it would rank 14th in the world for the number of medals it brought home in the 2014 Olympics, ranking between South Korea and Sweden. Not bad for a “country” that boasts a scant 30,000 residents.
On Saturday, Apr. 5, the 64 Park City-based Olympians and Paralympians who competed in Sochi will take over Park City’s Main Street, as the community honors their triumphs and accomplishments from the 2014 Games. More than 20 Olympians and Paralympians are expected to march in a homecoming parade, including hometown heroes like Joss Christensen (Freeskiing gold medalist), Steve Holcomb (Bobsled 2x bronze medalist), Ted Ligety (Alpine Skiing gold medalist) and Sage Kotsenburg (Snowboard gold medalist).
But the parade is as much of a nod to the current troupe of Olympians as it is to the future generation of Olympian hopefuls, many of whom get their start on community teams. One such organization the Youth Sports Alliance, an umbrella group for local winter sports teams that has exposed thousands of children to snow sports since its inception after the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. This year alone, the non-profit rallied more than 1,000 elementary students to hit the snow with Get Out & Play, an after-school program that lets kids try out all facets of winter sports from skiing and snowboarding to figure skating and Nordic jumping.
2014 Olympic ski jumper Lindsey Van
With Saturday’s parade celebrating the spirit of winter sports, many students of the Youth Sports Alliance teams and the Get Out & Play program will be walking alongside Park City’s own Olympians athletes during the parade
The Olympic homecoming parade will march down Main Street on Saturday, Apr. 5 at 1 p.m., with Grand Marshal/1952 Olympic gold medalist/longtime Parkite Stein Eriksen leading the pack of athletes. Upon arrival to the Town Lift Plaza, a post-parade party will kick off and include autograph sessions, live music, food, drinks and a fireworks show.
For more information and a schedule of events, visit the Youth Sports Alliance’s website. ysaparkcity.org
By the numbers:
- 64 Sochi Olympic athletes have ties to Park City (49 Olympians, 15 Paralympians)
- 18 athletes have participated in a Youth Sports Alliance team
- 12 medals were brought home by current Park City residents
- 5 medalists were born and raised in Park City
- 3 coaches are active Youth Sports Alliance team coaches