World Cup speedskating event shows Utah is ready for future Olympics

Nov 5, 2022, 4:30 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2022, 10:57 am

KEARNS, Utah — It may not be as popular in America as football or the World Series this weekend, but for Christy Coda, there’s nothing better than speedskating.

“It’s a highlight of the winter season. We look forward to it,” said Coda. “We come to support the athletes. It’s amazing because they’re all world-class athletes right in your backyard.”

She and her family have been coming to the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns for years.

Especially when there’s a big competition like the international short track World Cup event this weekend, the best skaters in the world are here.

“When you watch a world record being set, it’s right in front of you. You are part of the action,” Coda said.

What she really loves is when a Team USA skater who lives, trains and competes here makes the Olympics.

“You feel like you’re a part of their journey and when you see their celebrations, you can’t help but tear up a little bit knowing that they’re so joyful, too, and you celebrate with them,” Coda explained.

This competition is the latest of more than 900 events held at Salt Lake’s Olympic venues since the 2002 Games.

Every single venue from 2002 is still being used and is a big reason why Salt Lake is in line for either the 2030 or 2034 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee will decide on the 2030 Games in September or October 2023.

“When the IOC or the international representatives come, they see that we do this. Not only do we do it, but we do it really well,” said Calum Clark with the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation. “What we have here is really special.”

Coda wasn’t in Utah in 2002 but is looking forward to being here when the Games eventually come back.

“I hope so,” she said. “I’m going to be rooting as hard as I can. I’ll do whatever it takes to bring them here. I think it’s so special to have them right here.”

That’s because for as popular as college and NFL football are in America, the Olympics are even bigger.

“Those memories stay with you for the rest of your life,” said Coda.

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World Cup speedskating event shows Utah is ready for future Olympics