At 18 years young, Sarah Hendrickson has already accomplished more than most have accomplished in a lifetime. As an athlete from Park City who passionately pursues ski jumping, Sarah became the 2012 World Champion, winning nine of 13 events. Recognized for her incredible dedication and success in her sport, Sarah Hendrickson was an honoree in the second annual Governor’s State of Sport Awards in Salt Lake City, Utah. Governor Gary Herbert and host of the event awarded Hendrickson with the 2012 Olympian of the Year award.
Sarah Hendrickson receives the Olympian of the Year award | Photo: USSA/Sarah Brunson
Sarah Hendrickson commented, “At the age of seven, I watched the Olympics in my hometown of Park City. It was an amazing experience and I specifically remember going to watch the men’s ski jumping event and that became a dream of mine. I was privileged enough to experience the amazing mountains and weather and then grow up in a huge sport world with the support of the town and the state. Utah does an amazing job supporting athletes. Here I am 11 years later, as a result of the 2002 Olympics, and I’m a little bit closer to becoming an Olympian.”
Located at the Zion’s Bank Basketball Center, tennis champion Andre Aggasi was the standout speaker in front of the large crowd with over 750 attendants.
Along with Sarah Hendrickson was the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and its representatives who also received awards. Since the 2002 Olympics at Park City, Utah, the USSA has brought over 25 international events to the state with tens of millions of television viewers around the globe. Created by the USSA in 2009, the Center of Excellence in Park City is the epicenter for world-class athletic training and progression in sports. Global exposure and economic benefits of winter sports have increased with the incredible dedication of the USSA.
Sarah Hendrickson representing her country | Photo: Sarah Brunson/U.S. Ski Team
Recently partnering with the Utah Sports Commission this past season, the USSA aims to better the action sports community. Due to its initiative to bring international winter sport events to Utah, the USSA was recognized as Team Utah Partner of the Year. In addition, longtime USSA trustee Spence Eccles was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to sports and athletes.
Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert spoke of accomplishments within Utah, “Utah is proud of its Olympic legacy and the success of our Olympic athletes that live and train here. Our world class venues, athlete training and hosting of major sporting events has helped to create successful Olympians like Sarah Hendrickson.”
Herbert continued, “The U.S. Ski and Snowboarding Association is a tremendous asset to Utah’s sport and business community. Its Center of Excellence training and education facility attracts top athletes to our state, and the events USSA brings to Utah provide significant economic impact and exposure. The USSA is recognized as a leader throughout the world in Olympic winter sport.”