Utah to welcome 50 displaced Ukranian athletes in humanitarian effort
PARK CITY, Utah. — In response to the humanitarian crisis that is impacting millions of Ukrainian citizens, the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation announced that Utah is welcoming approximately 50 displaced Ukrainian athletes, coaches and family members beginning in May.
“Utah has long been a home for international athletes and we feel it is our duty to step up and support Ukraine’s winter sports teams,” Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation CEO Colin Hilton said. “We have amazing resources and a caring and hospitable community that knows that when there is a need, we do something about it. Our Legacy Foundation looks forward to coordinating services for these young athletes, coaches, and family members from Ukraine.”
As a leader in both Olympic and Paralympic sport, and housing the resettlement of an estimated 65,000 refugees from around the world, Utah is more than qualified to provide world-class training and stability to these athletes, coaches and their family members.
“Utah has a long and proud legacy of welcoming refugees to our state,” Utah Governor Spencer Cox said. “This is an incredible opportunity to support our Ukrainian friends in pursuing their goals in sport and life.”
Organized by the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation and the Community Foundation of Utah, all of the athletes’ needs will be fully covered in a community-wide partnership effort. Outreach efforts to the Ukrainian group are coordinated directly through Olympic champion Sergey Bubka, a four-time Olympian who serves as president of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine.
Athletes who compete in the sports of curling and freestyle skiing will travel to Utah. Currently, 10 curling athletes are now training at the Utah Olympic Oval and Weber County Ice Rink and are living in University of Utah housing. A second group of 39 freestyle skiing athletes, coaches and family members are scheduled to arrive in June, with housing and training hosted at Utah Olympic Park, and additional training resources available at U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s USANA Center of Excellence.