The University of Utah and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games: Freqently Asked Questions


The U is the official site of the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Villages and Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium. It is also the site of several activities that are part of the Cultural Olympiad. Heritage Commons at historic Fort Douglas will house more than 3,500 athletes and officials for the Olympic Winter Games and 1,100 athletes and officials for the Paralympic Winter Games. The new housing development, fully occupied by students since fall 2000, was financed through a combination of a revenue bond and a $28 million user fee from the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC). As the Olympic Village, Heritage Commons will be in SLOC’s control Jan. 9 – Mar. 2, 2002. Athletes will receive care from University Hospital and Clinics through the Polyclinic, a multipurpose acute and emergent care facility within the Village. The Daily Utah Chronicle will be the official publication for the Olympic Village. A smaller portion of the area will be used for the Paralympic Village Mar. 2 –Mar. 19. All of Heritage Commons will be returned to the University by Mar. 27. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and the Opening Ceremony for the Paralympic Winter Games will be held in Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium. The University will receive $8.3 million from SLOC at the end of 2002 for use of the stadium. No state educational funds, student fees, and/or tuition are being used to support the Games.

  • The 2002 Olympic Winter Games take place Feb. 8-24, 2002.
  • The 2002 ParalympicWinter Games take place Mar. 7-16, 2002.

Except for Feb. 6, the day of a dress rehearsal of the Opening Ceremonies, and Feb. 8, the day of the Opening Ceremonies of the Games, the campus will be open for business. The modified Spring semester calendar is as follows: Jan. 3: Spring semester 2002 classes begin Feb. 2-26: Extended Spring Break (campus remains open) May 2: Classes end day 10: Commencement One of the fundamental principles in the University’s agreement to host the Village and Ceremonies is that no student will be delayed in receiving his or her degree as a result of the University’s involvement in the Games.


Because Heritage Commons on the grounds of Fort Douglas will become the Olympic Village, students will not be able to live in those facilities from mid-December to mid-March. Instead, they will be accommodated in the original residence halls—Austin, Ballif, and Van Cott. Students have the option of living in the original residence halls for the entire Spring semester, or moving back to Heritage Commons in mid-March. The original residence halls will remain open during the extended Spring Break (Feb. 2-26) for students who want to stay on campus for the Games. Meals for students will be served in the newly renovated Crimson Underground in Olpin Union rather than in the Heritage Center.


Because of activities in the two secured venues (Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Village), there will be changes in parking availability and transportation routes beginning in November. South Campus Drive between the Field House and Rice-Eccles Stadium will be closed from Nov. 12 until the end of March. Temporary road closures and traffic restrictions will affect roadways near the stadium Feb. 4, 6, 7,
8, 23, 24 and March 7 because of Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies. Travel on the east side of the Olympic Village between Research Park and the Health Sciences Center will be restricted Jan. 18 – March 27.

The new University light rail line will be operational in December, offering an alternative means of transportation to the campus. The line will run only until 1 p.m. on the following days: Feb. 6 (full dress rehearsal of the Opening Ceremonies), Feb. 8 (Opening Ceremonies), and Feb. 24 (Closing Ceremonies). Otherwise, trains will run to the University every 15 minutes, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Some existing University parking lots have been allocated for the Games during specified times. Parking will be most difficult during January and March, when classes are in session. During this period, everyone is urged to take transit or carpool. Temporary overflow parking will also be provided on and near campus, and there will be increased shuttle service to accommodate these changes. During the period of the Olympic Games (Feb. 8-24), Spring Break conditions will exist on campus. The areas surrounding Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Village will be most affected.

For more information, call Parking Services at 801-581-6415 or visit


During the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, two large restaurants, Douglas Dining and Connor Dining, will operate within the Residential Zone of the Olympic Village to serve residents and guests. Connor Dining, upstairs in the Peterson Heritage Center, will be open to athletes. A temporary kitchen and dining facility, Douglas Dining will be available to athletes and support staff and will have a nutritionist on hand to offer dietary advice. A computer kiosk will also be available 24 hours a day where residents can obtain nutritional information on each dish served at the Village.


The security of Games venues is the responsibility of the Utah Olympic Public Safety Command (UOPSC), which includes representation from the U as well as all concerned federal and state agencies. Safety on campus remains the responsibility of the University’s public safety department. University officials have been meeting frequently and regularly with these and other agencies for several years and continue to monitor developments carefully. As new information or funding becomes available, adjustments will be contemplated. The campus will close to normal business operations Feb. 6 and Feb. 8 not because of external threats to campus but because public safety is implicated in the difficulties of traffic management and access controls that will surround the Opening Ceremonies and their dress rehearsal. Implicit in the security arrangements is the principle that student academic progress will not be delayed and that “to the extent possible,” research, service, and library functions of the University will not be disrupted.


The 2002 Olympic Coordination Office at the U can be reached at 801-585-7180 or The 2002 Olympic Winter Games Web site is


Willam Farr Christensen, 99, founder of the U of U Department of Ballet, and founder and director of the University Theater Ballet, which evolved into Civic Ballet and then Ballet West. The first person in the United States to choreograph full-length versions of The Nutcracker and other ballets, “Mr. C” received many honors during his lifetime, including the CORPS de Ballet International Award in 2000 for lifetime achievement and distinguished service. The Hayes/Christensen Theatre in the Marriott Center for Dance is named for him and for modern dance pioneer Elizabeth R. Hayes.

James E. Faraone, 48, Salt Lake City police sergeant and student in the Department of Family and Consumer Studies. Faraone was featured in a Fall 2001 Continuum article on the 100th anniversary of the department.

“Let us draw together in a spirit of unity with continued respect for those different from ourselves…. Let us heal ourselves in an attempt to help the survivors and the victims’ families heal.”

President J. Bernard Machen, from remarks at a candlelight vigil, Sept. 13, 2001