The National Junior Olympics at Soldier Hollow culminates a yearlong series of regional competitions for these athletes. “This is the premier event for junior racers across the country,” Luke Bodensteiner, director of Nordic Skiing for the United States Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA) said.
Cross country racers will compete for individual titles and division team championships. The team that amasses the best overall results over the five days of competition will be awarded the Alaska Cup. Bodensteiner said the Alaska Cup is “the most sought after prize” in junior racing.
The Dave Quinn Award is another major title Junior Olympians will be vying for at the Soldier Hollow races. Bodensteiner said the award is named after Dave Quinn, a USSA Cross Country skier who, soon after retiring from racing, passed away from cancer. The Dave Quinn Award goes to the individual that exhibits a winning combination of great sportsmanship, character and performance.
The opening ceremonies for the National Junior Olympics begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the Soldier Hollow Legacy Lodge, 2002 Soldier Hollow Dr., Midway, Utah. Competitions begin March 5. Admission to both the opening ceremonies and the five days of competition is free.
Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce/Convention & Visitors Bureau
Tel: (435)654-3666, ext. 12
Soldier Hollow Facts:
Soldier Hollow is named for a company of soldiers under the command of Captain James Simpson who conducted a survey of the area in 1839.
Soldier Hollow is a 1,280-acres site and is located within the 25,000-acre Wasatch Mountain State Park.
The State of Utah owns the Olympic venue and it is administered by the Division of Parks and Recreation of the Department of Natural Resources. It is managed and operated by the Soldier Hollow Legacy Foundation. Howard Peterson is the executive director of the Soldier Hollow Legacy Foundation and Luke Bodensteiner is chairman.
The development of the $10 million Soldier Hollow Nordic competition facility began in April 1998. Trail construction was completed in November 1999. The site includes the day lodge, Competition Center, stadium, snowmaking, trails, and tubing hill. â€œAcross the streetâ€ is the new state-owned Soldier Hollow Golf Course facility and clubhouse. The $12 million facility opened with two 18-hole courses in 2004.
Soldier Hollow is an all-season sport center. The venue is used for year-round training as well as national and international events. Some of the trails were re-routed after the 2002 Winter Olympics to make them easier for citizen skiers. During the summer months the trails are open to hiking and there is even a paved roller ski trail. Winter tubing, a horse concession featuring trail rides, wagon/sleigh rides and cookouts are two other attractions at Soldier Hollow.
Soldier Hollow is the highest Nordic venue built at 5,882.5 feet. The Internationale Federation de Ski (FIS), the governing body for international ski competition, requires that a Nordic ski racecourse be no higher in elevation that 1,800 meters (5,904 feet).
Soldier Hollow’s 31 kilometers (20 miles) of trails are located on north and east slopes to aid in snow retention. Soldier Hollow has an average snowfall of 84 inches.
Spectator capacity at Soldier Hollow is 20,000.
Soldier Hollow is spectator friendly. It has the advantage of a natural bowl coupled with a hillside trail layout and an opposing ridge where the day lodge is sited. The site is designed so that the stadium area is never more than one kilometer from the furthest point of any trail.
The Competition Center is a high-tech facility for all race management activities and houses timing, competition scheduling, video and sound production, and scoreboard operations.
The snow making capabilities at Soldier Hollow consists of 13 kilometers of underground
pipe, 130 hydrants and 17 snow fans. The pumping facility can pump 1,200 gallons of
water per minute at 400 psi. At this date, Soldier Hollow is the largest cross country ski snowmaking facility in the world.
Nordic sports, such as cross country skiing, biathlon and Nordic combined, are the football, basketball and baseball of many European countries. The athletes are heroes in European countries and are as well known as the Michael Jordans and Steve Youngs are in the United States.
The Day Lodge at Soldier Hollow is a handsome structure made from Douglas fir. Most of the beams that comprise its infrastructure came from an old railroad trestle that once spanned part of the Great Salt Lake. The timbers, which are over 100 years old, can be seen in their original state as part of the trestle in a photo at the lodge. A large portion of the materials that built the lodge are recycled and the facility has been widely recognized for its efforts in recycling and the reuse of these and other materials.
The lodge is a full-service facility that offers ski rentals, souvenirs, and food and beverages. Its floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide spectacular views of the Wasatch Mountains and the trail system below.
Another “green” characteristic of the Soldier Hollow venue is its wetlands. Water once used for irrigation has been redirected to create 2.5 acres of wetlands to offset approximately one half acre of natural wetlands displaced by the course. Irrigation ditches have been removed so that natural drainage has resumed. In addition, willow, hawthorn, and cottonwood trees and native grasses have been planted to shade the trails and to offset erosion caused by ski track construction.
Soldier Hollow introduces more than 9000 elementary school children per year to the sport of cross country skiing through its Legacy Youth Program. For $3, a student receives a day trail pass, ski equipment and ski instruction.
After the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Soldier Hollow was dubbed â€œThe People’s Venue.â€ Through its legacy programs, Soldier Hollow is living up to its name. The venue continues to see steady increases in its visitor numbers. In 2005, more than 100,000 people paid to participate at a Soldier Hollow activity — whether it was a cross country ski pass, a tubing hill ticket, a biathlon event, an archery event, mountain biking, trial hiking, or roller skiing. Soldier Hollow offers an affordable, fun experience for everyone.
After the 2002 Winter Olympics, Soldier Hollow was named â€œThe Best Olympic Venueâ€ by USA Today newspaper.
In 2004, Soldier Hollow was honored as the Best Olympics Legacy Venue in Best of Utah 2004.
EXTREME ICE SCULPTING SHOW TO HIGHLIGHT
HEBER VALLEY’S WINTERFEST AND JUNIOR NATIONALS OPENING CEREMONIES
Heber Valley will host its annual Winterfest on March 3, 2007, featuring â€œFear No Ice,â€ an extreme ice sculpting show, as part of the National Junior Olympics opening ceremonies at Soldier Hollow. â€œFear No Iceâ€ will perform at 7:30 p.m. using special drills, chain saws and blow torches and choreographed to rock music and special light effects, to create a massive ice structure that will represent the valley’s Olympic heritage.
In addition, other Winterfest activities on March 3 will include free trail passes for cross-country skiing at Soldier Hollow, Homestead Resort and Wasatch Mountain State Park; free ice skating at the Midway Ice Skating Rink; and free snowshoeing at Wasatch Mountain State Park. (Please note there are equipment rental fees and free public skating is scheduled between noon and 2 p.m.)
â€œIt’s been five years since the Winter Games, but we still have Olympians coming to ski and compete in our valley,â€ said Jason Giles, executive director of the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce and CVB. â€œWinterfest not only welcomes the junior Olympians but is also an invitation to the public for a free day to experience and recognize what continues to bring the world to our beautiful valley.â€
The opening ceremonies for the National Junior Olympics begin at 7:30 p.m. on March 3 at the Soldier Hollow Legacy Lodge, 2002 Soldier Hollow Dr., Midway, Utah. Admission to the opening ceremonies with â€œFear No Iceâ€ and fireworks display as well as to the five days of competition is free to the public.
For more information about National Junior Olympics and Winterfest call 435-654-3666 or visit www.hebervalleycc.org.
About â€œFear No Iceâ€
â€œFear No Iceâ€ is the world’s first and only performance ice sculpting group. Their shows bring together master ice sculpting with performance, groundbreaking video, and fresh music. All these elements together create a unique show that has captivated audiences throughout the country. â€œFear No Iceâ€ shows have been seen in many cities for movie openings; sculptures at major sporting events such as the X-Games and 2002 Winter Olympics; and stage sets for concerts. For more information visit www.fearnoice.com.
Junior National Accommodations
A Sundowner Inn
425 Moulton Lane, Heber City
Pirce includes a full menu &
Country Custom Breakfast
The Blue Boar Inn
1235 Warm Springs Road, Midway
Price daily hot breakfast buffet,
Sunday features a five-course brunch
Inn on the Creek
375 Rainbow Lane, Midway
The Invited Inn
1045 North Homestead Drive, Midway
$195 – $225, includes hot breakfast
100 Johnson Mill Road, Midway
1220 North Interlaken Road, Midway
Bear Mountain Lodge — Rodeway Inn
425 South Main Street, Heber City
Daniels Summit Lodge
16 miles southeast of Heber City on
U.S. Hwy. 40
Danish Viking Lodge
986 South Main Street, Heber City
1 deluxe suite available
670 South Main Street, Heber City
Holiday Inn Express
1300 South Hwy. 40, Heber City
$119, includes continental breakfast
Homestead Resort — no vacancy
700 North Homestead Drive, Midway
Lodge at Stillwater
1364 Still Water Dr.
Heber City, UT 84032
Located off North Hwy. 40, Mayflower Exit, near Jordanelle Reservoir
National 9/High Country Inn
1000 South Main Street, Heber City
Strawberry Bay Lodge
23 miles southeast of Heber City on
U.S. Hwy. 40
Swiss Alps Inn — no vacancy
167 South Main Street, Heber City
Wintergreen at Midway
800 Lime Canyon Road, Midway
2-bedroom condo, sleeps six