Sarah Hendrickson was named 2012 Utah Olympian of the Year, posing with Utah Sports Commission CEO Jeff Robbins, Olympic medalist Dr. Eric Heiden, Hendrickson, Andre Agassi and Utah Governor Gary Herbert. (USSA-Sarah Brunson)
SALT LAKE CITY (April 16) – World Champion ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association were among honorees as the State of Utah and Governor Gary Herbert hosted the second annual Utah State of Sport Awards in Salt Lake City. Hendrickson, a Utah native and 2012 World Cup champion, was recognized as 2012 Olympian of the Year. The USSA was recognized as Team Utah Partner of the Year for its efforts to bring international ski and snowboarding events to Utah. Over 750 attended the event at the Zion’s Bank Basketball Center.
The second Annual Governor's State of Sport Awards honored Utah native and ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson with the 2012 Olympian of the Year award.
Sarah Hendrickson grew up in Park City and was captivated by ski jumping at the 2002 Olympics as a seven year old. Today, Hendrickson has established herself as one of ski jumping’s biggest stars, winning nine of 13 events to win the 2012 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup title. This past December she won on the new Olympic jumps in Sochi and in February won World Championship gold.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association was honored as Team Utah Partner of the Year in recognition of the USSA's efforts to bring internationally renowned events to Utah.
Since the early days of the America's Opening World Cups in Park City, the USSA has played a major role in bringing international ski and snowboarding events to Utah.
Since the 2002 Olympics, it has brought over two-dozen international events to Utah with tens of millions of television viewers worldwide.
The annual International Ski Federation Freestyle World Cup at Deer Valley Resort is the premier event on the global tour. In recent years, the USSA has expanded its Utah footprint with nationally-televised Sprint U.S. Grand Prix competitions at both Park city Mountain Resort and Canyons, bringing both economic impact and global exposure focused on new youth-oriented Olympic events.
This past season the USSA partnered with the Utah Sports Commission to support action sports based ski and snowboarding events in Utah.
The USSA’s Center of Excellence opened its doors in Park City in 2009 providing athletes with world class training and helping make Utah the center for Olympic sport in America.
Longtime U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation trustee Spence Eccles was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with sports and athletes.
Tennis champion Andre Aggasi was the keynote speaker to the huge crowd gathered at the Zion’s Bank Basketball Center.
At the age of seven, I watched the Olympics in my hometown of Park City. It was an amazing experience and I specifically remember going to watch the men's ski jumping event and that became a dream of mine. I was privileged enough to experience the amazing mountains and weather and then grow up in a huge sport world with the support of the town and the state. Utah does an amazing job supporting athletes. Here I am 11 years later, as a result of the 2002 Olympics, and I'm a little bit closer to becoming an Olympian.
Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert
Utah is proud of its Olympic legacy and the success of our Olympic athletes that live and train here. Our world class venues, athlete training and hosting of major sporting events has helped to create successful Olympians like Sarah Hendrickson
The U.S. Ski and Snowboarding Association is a tremendous asset to Utah's sport and business community. Its Center of Excellence training and education facility attracts top athletes to our state, and the events USSA brings to Utah provide significant economic impact and exposure. The USSA is recognized as a leader throughout the world in Olympic winter sport.
Bill Marolt, President and CEO, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
We appreciate this recognition - we are humbled and honored by it.
Everything the Governor has said about the values that we learn from sport are embedded in the personalities and character of the athletes. Sarah Hendrickson and Ted Ligety grew up in Utah. They were inspired by the Olympics. Their parents put them into programs. How does it happen that these youngsters grow up and perform at the levels they perform? It happens because of the leadership in this state. It happens because you have a Governor who has a vision. He understands the value and commits to it and makes our partnership work, providing opportunities for these youngsters. It also happens because of partnership. Jeff Robbins (Utah Sports Commission President and CEO) has a great vision of where we need to go and what we need to do. Utah truly is the state of sport.
We have unbelievable Olympic legacy facilities including the Utah Olympic Park, Soldier Hollow and our great resorts of Park City, Deer Valley and Canyons. Our Center of Excellence here in Utah, the Olympic facilities and the partnership with the State combine to make a Best in the World organization.
Jeff Robbins, President and CEO, Utah Sports Commission
The events that the USSA brings to Utah provide a tremendous boost to our economy and media exposure throughout the world. Our partnership with the USSA has been a key factor in leveraging our sports infrastructure continue to bring top winter sporting events and athletes to our state.