Saturday, August 13, 2011

Light the Fire Within...

It’s hard to believe that next February will mark 10 years since Salt Lake hosted the Olympic Games and put Utah on the map globally!

We arrived in SLC last night and instead of our usual stay in Park City, we opted to stay at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake. The Grand America was the flagship hotel for the Olympic games so it always reminds me of the 2002 events.

Since Grammy’s birthday and Alex Olsen’s mission departure both fell in August it seemed like a good weekend to celebrate and say farewell. In fact, all of the grandchildren are in town for the occasion which is a real compliment to a good Grammy and a cool cousin Alex!

Whenever I’m in Salt Lake I enjoy seeing Olympic remnants (well, the Rice-Eccles stadium isn’t exactly a remnant, so I guess I like seeing reminders that the Olympics were here). The Olympic Motto for the 2002 games was “Light the Fire Within.” For a city that is steeped in religious history to host the competitive athletic games, the motto seems poignant in many regards. “Light" and “Fire" are both used relative to spiritual things and in lighting the fire within, the motto connotes personal excellence that can apply to many aspects, particularly physical.

Utah is the sixth state in the US to host the Olympic games and the Salt Lake games were some of the most successful in Winter Olympic history with a surplus of $40 million at the end of the games. That money has been used to maintain and operate many of the city’s Olympic venues.

It should be a fun weekend ahead with lots of catching up with the relatives. Ever since the 2002 Olympics and the warm reception Utah displayed for the athletes and the world at large, I’ve felt proud to say I grew up in such a beautiful place as Salt Lake.