Utah has a fine and noble history.
The focus of this proud background is usually directed toward those brave men, women and children who crossed this vast country under great adversity to escape religious persecution.With the guidance of their leader Brigham Young, the saints traveled for months, finally reaching the valley of The Great Salt Lake beyond the Rocky Mountains. Here Brigham Young declared, "This Is the Place."
But other inhabitants walked this land before the arrival of the white settlers. They were the Ute People, our Native American fellow men.
The Native American culture is steeped in history which cannot be measured in time for they have lived, worshiped, raised their families and roamed this land for centuries. Their heritage is old, colorful, deeply spiritual and historically bound to nature and this beautiful land in the West.
What does this history have to do with the 2002 Olympic Games. The answer is everything.
The ancient Olympic Games made their comeback in Athens in 1896. Since that time they have been held worldwide hosted by countries of varying cultures. Thus, the Games inherently are not only about sports, athletes and awards, but culture.
The year 2002 will bring the Olympic Games to Salt Lake City. Let's take advantage of our state's colorful history, multicultural past when hosting this prestigious event. We have an opportunity to show the world what we are about. This not only includes the settlement of the West but also the Native American's role in protecting and honoring this great land of ours.
In the height of our excitement of this oncoming event, let's not forget our Native American brother when planning the various ceremonies indicative of the Olympic Games. They have every right to be invited to participate. After all, where did the state of Utah get its name from? The Native American Ute people.