U.S. Biathlon moving to Utah, fourth Olympic sport to be based here

Sep 14, 2023, 6:49 PM | Updated: 7:19 pm

MIDWAY, Utah — If there was ever a sport that defined Utah, it just might be skiing. The image of a skier is on our license plates, after all. Then again, some might say target shooting.Just look at almost any street sign once you get out of the Wasatch Front.

So, it’s kind of interesting why, when you combine the two, biathlon isn’t more popular in Utah. However, that could soon change.

(Stuart Johnson/KSL TV)

“Well, we are pretty thrilled. This is a big deal for Utah,” Luke Bodensteiner said.Bodensteiner was about as excited as one can get when it was officially announced today that U.S. Biathlon is moving its headquarters from Maine to Utah.

The team will be based at Soldier Hollow where he is the general manager.

“It just means that we have really developed, or even re-developed, this facility to be something that an organization like U.S. Biathlon, who is aiming to be the best in the world, feels at home here and feels supported here,” he said.

Soldier Hollow is where Salt Lake’s 2002 Olympic biathlon competitions were held. It is currently getting a big upgrade to attract even more World-Cup type biathlon competitions.

(Stuart Johnson/KSL TV)

When the team started looking for a new home, it just made sense for the sports’ national governing body to look at Utah.

“We have an unbelievable economy here in Utah that was super attractive to them as they look to build their organization and developing sponsors. We are obviously in the process for bidding for an Olympics. That’s a big deal for them. And they can really feel that momentum, they can feel the appreciation locally here for Olympic sport,” Bodensteiner said.

Biathlon will be the 4th Olympic sport based in Utah following U.S. Ski and SnowboardUS Speedskating, and USA Climbing.

It just adds to Utah’s Olympic legacy as the state continues to bid for a future Winter Games.“There is no doubt that we’re committed to the legacy, in my opinion,” Bodensteiner said. “We have done a remarkable job. We are one of the most successful former Olympic cities in terms of perpetuating that bid.

Bodensteiner, who is a 2-time Olympian in cross-country skiing and now the chief of sport development for the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, said the top male and female biathlon athletes were at Soldier Hollow recently.

He noted the two said with the facility being upgraded, as well as the U.S. National Team moving to Utah, the sky is the limit for what the team can become in the future.

“I think it will be amazing,” Bodensteiner said. “It was just a golden opportunity for the next phase of what US Biathlon will become.”

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U.S. Biathlon moving to Utah, fourth Olympic sport to be based here