Sports

Parkite Trace Worthington will once again commentate for NBC for the Beijing Olympics

PARK CITY, Utah — Parkite Trace Worthington will be a television commentator for NBC’s coverage of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games for Moguls, Aerials, Ski Cross, and Snowboard Cross. Other people might be able to rattle off fun facts about their life’s highlights, but when I asked Worthington how many Olympics this would be for him in that position, his somewhat stammered reply was, “So this is, so, let’s see, um, I’ve seen Nagano in ’98 and then SLC in 2002, then there was 2006 and the 2004 Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics in 2018, what does that make, like, six Olympics?”

Perhaps when he includes in the equation his own Olympic performances in the Albertville 1992 and Lillehammer 1994 Games and factors the in-between years of those when he had a similar gig for the U.S. Ski Team, the tally is as sky-high as a freestyle jump.

Worthington’s self-worth promotion is not his priority. He and Tricia, his wife of 20 years’ resumes read like a veritable who’s who of Park City nonprofits. His term as Board President of the Youth Sports Alliance recently running out has him now on the Park City Ski and Snowboard board. Tricia previously was the vice president of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team (USSA). She then worked among the founders of the Park City Community Foundation before returning to the USSA, where she remains the chief development officer.

Trace is an inductee in the USSA Hall of Fame. He told me, “This year, I’m also going to jump on some committees at the U.S. Ski Team and start helping in some areas that I feel knowledgeable about. Since I research skiers for a living for broadcasting, I have a general idea of what the other countries are doing in regards to best practices.” 

Their two teenage daughters are in the family business of skiing as well. Izzy recently switched from alpine racing at Park City Mountain to park-and-pipe and. Trace said, “She’s having a ton of fun in the freeskiing scene. She’s out today at Woodward boxing it up.” Sammi inherited her dad’s bump skiing gene. For a brief moment in time, she had cross country skis underfoot. Now, she trains for moguls by practicing jumps into the pool at the Utah Olympic Park alongside athletes participating in the win-win sports entertainment production company Trace founded known as the Flying Ace Allstars. It’s a win as it promotes his sport to new audiences and it helps fund countless young athletes’ dreams.

Trace Worthington (left) and Nagano Olympic freestyle gold medalist Jonny Moseley commentating side by side as they did on a global, multi-media basis for many years, including Deer Valley’s World Cup. Photo: Worthington family

He moved to Park City in 1993 after growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, via a stint in Colorado.

Trace won’t be in Beijing when the Olympics start in two weeks. Instead, NBC’s pandemic broadcast strategy has placed him in its Stamford, Connecticut studios in a concerted effort to “Spread people out a bit for so if COVID hits hard in one area, we can still provide accurate coverage,” he told me.

As for the athletes over in Beijing, Worthington astutely pointed out that the younger skiers on Team USA have become accustomed to international pandemic competition, having grown up in the last two seasons on their journey successfully complying with COVID protocols. Therefore, their Olympic experience won’t necessarily be markedly different. “Part of my own Olympic experience was not just being on the hill and competing. It was the overall experience that was so exciting. So, I feel bad for the athletes in that sense.”

He added, “I think it’s a unique Olympics in the sense that whoever can get through this and get a medal, it wasn’t just a normal way of getting it. I mean, you had to persevere through all of this. Right? The whole challenge is not just making the Olympic team and having a good day on the hill. You’re a person who got through the last two years to get yourself on the team and dodged bullets everywhere with COVID, so I just think that the athlete who stands on the top of the Olympic podium in 2022 will be an absolute superhero.”

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