The U.S. Olympic Committee will spend almost a week in Utah as part of a 13-city national tour to build interest in American athletes competing in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Olympic and Paralympic athletes will be part of a USOC entourage that will come to Park City on Dec. 28-29 for team trials for two U.S. teams — Nordic combined and ski jumping.
The scene shifts Jan. 3-4 to the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, where U.S. Speedskating will select its long- and short-track teams for the Sochi Olympics, which run Feb. 7-23. The Paralympics are March 7-16 for athletes with disabilities.
“These events are true celebrations of Olympic and Paralympic sport, of Team USA’s inspiring athletes and of the spirit of the Winter Games,” said USOC chief marketing officer Lisa Baird, adding Olympians and Paralympians will sign autographs.
Interactive displays will let visitors get a hands-on feel for the various sports of the Winter Games, from biathlon to bobsled, freestyle aerials to figure skating.
The “Road to Sochi” tour begins Oct. 29, 100 days before the Olympics begin, with a celebration in Times Square in New York City. From there, it goes to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., Fargo, N.D., and Dallas before spending the holidays in Utah.
Other stops will be in Boston, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Vail, Colo., and Chicago before the tour ends Feb. 23 at Grand Central Terminal in New York City, in conjunction with the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Olympics.
Baird said 600,000 people took part in the USOC’s “Road to London” tour before the 2012 Summer Games.
Liberty Mutual Insurance is the tour’s primary sponsor, with additional support from Coca-Cola, AT&T, Budweiser, Chobani, Smucker’s, Hilton HHonors, Kellogg’s and United Airlines.
Stops in Utah
P The U.S. Olympic Committee’s “Road to Sochi” tour will be in Utah:
• Dec. 28-29 in Park City for ski jumping and Nordic combined team trials
• Jan. 3-4 in Kearns for long- and short-track speedskating team trials