Davis display recalls '02 Olympic memories

Feb 9 2012 - 12:08am

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MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner 
Robin Campbell (left) and Linda May look at memorabilia collected from the 2002 Winter Olympics on Wednesday at the Davis County Memorial Courthouse in Farmington.
MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner 
Robin Campbell (left) and Linda May look at memorabilia collected from the 2002 Winter Olympics on Wednesday at the Davis County Memorial Courthouse in Farmington.

FARMINGTON -- Walking into the Davis County Commission chambers Wednesday was like taking a step back in time, with 2002 Winter Olympics memorabilia covering every table and a few of the chairs in the room.

Davis County employees, in recognizing the 10-year anniversary of Utah's Winter Games, pooled the souvenirs they had collected from the 17-day event, and displayed them for three hours at the Memorial County Courthouse in Farmington.

There were Olympic pins, programs, hats and parkas and personal photos, including a large framed and mounted photo of downtown Salt Lake City autographed by Mitt Romney, then president and CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Organizing Committee.

The room was also packed with memories from the role Davis communities played in the pre-game torch run route, which encompassed a stretch on Antelope Island, and the county's involvement in the Cultural Olympiad.

As part of the Cultural Olympiad, the county hosted the Olympic Command Performance Rodeo at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington from Feb. 9 to Feb. 11, 2002, Legacy Events Center Director Dave Hansen said.

The three-night event, sponsored by Wrangler jeans and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, drew sell-out crowds, in addition to protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who gathered outside the indoor arena.

That group was closely monitored by law enforcement officials.

For the county's effort, those associated with putting on the high-profile rodeo event received a cowboy shirt with the Cultural Olympiad logo on the back.

"It was a great opportunity," Davis County Commissioner Louenda Downs said of the Olympic event.

"The great part was to see the people come and fall in love with the Salt Lake games -- Salt Lake City," said Downs, who proudly sported her Cultural Olympiad rodeo shirt Wednesday.

Davis County Sheriff's Office Capt. Kenny Payne brought more than 250 Olympic pins that his late son Brandon had collected during the event.

"What a great collection," Davis County Personnel Director Mel Miles said while looking at Payne's pins.

But what had many of the onlookers buzzing Wednesday was Gov. Gary Herbert's announcement about forming an exploratory committee to determine if Utah should attempt to host the Winter Olympics for a second time.

"I'd like to shoot for 2022. It has a nice ring to it," said Davis County Commissioner Bret Millburn, who served as the 2002 Winter Games transportation director.

"It will cost money, but it is not like we are starting from scratch," said Millburn, who couldn't be at the courthouse because of other commitments, but who owned a good percentage of the memorabilia on display. He added:

"There were so many positives that came out of the 2002 Olympics. It would be fun to try it again."

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