Short Track Speed Skating Overtakes Utah this November with Two Dynamic Events

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November is a busy month for short track speed skating in the state of Utah. Salt Lake City will be hosting two world-class events within two weeks of each other: 2014 ISU World Cup Short Track Speedskating Competition hosted by the Utah Olympic Oval and the inaugural Apolo Ohno Invitational held at EnergySolutions Arena.

Short track speed skating and Salt Lake City are near and dear to my heart, from winning my first Olympic medal to serving as my training home during my Olympic career - Apolo Ohno

November is a busy month for short track speed skating in the state of Utah. Salt Lake City will be hosting two world-class events within two weeks of each other: 2014 ISU World Cup Short Track Speedskating Competition hosted by the Utah Olympic Oval and the inaugural Apolo Ohno Invitational held at EnergySolutions Arena. Both events are made possible through the support of the Utah Sports Commission, US Speedskating, Utah Olympic Oval, and other partners.

“We’re thrilled to bring short track back to Utah,” said Ted Morris, Executive Director of US Speedskating. “After receiving tremendous support from the Utah community around the 2014 speed skating Olympic trials, we know the fans will come out to see the stars of the 2014 Olympic Games competing at both the Utah Olympic Oval and EnergySolutions Arena events.”

In partnership with the International Skating Union (ISU), the Utah Olympic Oval will be hosting the World Cup Short Track Speed Skating competition on Nov. 7, 8 and 9, 2014. Race officials anticipate a field of 175 international short track speed skating athletes representing up to 24 countries. Friday will be a day of qualifiers, doors open at 8:00 a.m. with skating from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday are competition days, doors open at 2:00 p.m. with racing from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

There are six World Cup competitions in the 2014-2015 season. The competition at the Utah Olympic Oval is the first of the series followed by stops in Montreal, Canada; Shanghai, China; Seoul, Republic of Korea; Dresden, Germany; and Izmir, Turkey. The last time Utah hosted a short track World Cup event was in 2011. Home to the 'Fastest Ice on Earth’, the Olympic Oval has set over 75 world records since 2002.

Tickets for the World Cup are available online at UtahOlympicLegacy.com and in person at the Utah Olympic Oval. Tickets range from $3 to $20 with all-event packages available at a 20% savings. On Saturday and Sunday, spectators will also be able to participate in a western-themed community festival featuring family-friendly activities and booths.

"The Utah Olympic Oval is widely regarded as one of the world's premier venues that brings the world's best speed skaters to Utah," said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. "This venue, and US Speedskating who calls it home, are a key part of Utah's Olympic legacy efforts."

Following the World Cup, the most decorated winter Olympian in American history, Apolo Ohno, will host the inaugural Apolo Ohno Invitational on Friday, November 21, 2014 at EnergySolutions Arena, doors open at 7:00 p.m. This event is the first-of-its-kind in short track speed skating and will be televised on NBC. The exhibition will feature the sport’s top athletes from the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and China competing for prize money in men’s and women’s 500m, 1000m, and team relays.

The Apolo Ohno Invitational will include a dynamic, in-venue experience complete with theatrical lights and a live DJ pumping music throughout the competition. The night of festivities will kick-off with a bonus race featuring some of Utah’s favorite sports mascots.

“Short track speed skating and Salt Lake City are near and dear to my heart, from winning my first Olympic medal to serving as my training home during my Olympic career,” said Ohno, three-time Olympian and eight-time Olympic Medalist. “I am proud to be an ambassador for speed skating and honored to help showcase the sport in a competitive and entertaining format for the athletes and fans in attendance and at home on television.”

The Apolo Ohno Invitational marks the return of Ohno and short track speed skating to EnergySolutions Arena, the venue where Ohno captured the hearts of America and launched his legendary Olympic career with his performance at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games by winning Gold in the 1500m and Silver in the 1000m. Ohno will serve as the event host and color commentator for the event’s television broadcast.

Tickets for the Apolo Ohno Invitational are available for purchase online via Smith’s Tix, in-person at the EnergySolutions Arena box office or by phone at (801) 355-SEAT. Standard tickets range in price from $10 to $20; a limited number of VIP tickets are available that include a meet and greet with Ohno, food and beverage, as well as a commemorative tee-shirt.
Different from long track speed skating where athletes compete in pairs, short track features a mass-start with up to six skaters and high-paced, high-contact skating action. Both competitions take place on an international-sized ice hockey rink measuring 60 by 30 meters. Both short track events feature family-friendly activities and action-packed athletic showmanship showcasing the sport’s explosive speeds, sharp angles, and calculated, yet risky moves, in mad dashes to the finish line.

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About Apolo Ohno

Apolo Ohno is the most decorated American in Winter Olympic history with eight Olympic medals in short track speedskating. The three-time Olympian and 12-time U.S. National Champion amassed more than 30 medals in international competition over the course of his speedskating career. Away from the ice, Ohno has garnered further mainstream appeal by winning ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (2007), hosting Game Show Network’s Minute to Win It, and serving as a commentator for NBC’s broadcast of the 2012 and 2014 Olympic Games. A highly sought-after motivational speaker, Ohno’s autobiography, “Zero Regrets: Be Greater Than Yesterday”, reached the New York Times best-seller list. A believer in living an active and healthy lifestyle, Ohno raced in the New York City Marathon in 2011 and recently completed the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship on October 11, 2014 in Kona, Hawaii. For more information, follow online via Twitter @ApoloOhno, Instagram @apoloantonohno, Facebook Facebook.com/ApoloOhnoFans and at http://www.apoloantonohno.com.

About Utah Sports Commission

The Utah Sports Commission, a not-for-profit 501c6 business league and Utah Sports Commission Foundation, a not-for-profit 501c3 charitable organization, are governed by an all- volunteer Board of Trustees consisting of statewide sports, business, community, and government leaders. The Sports Commission was created to be a catalyst for Utah in its Olympic legacy efforts and to help enhance Utah's economy, image and quality of life through the attraction, promotion and development of national and international sports. The Sports Commission works closely with communities, sports entities, and organizations to provide event services ranging from the bid process, on-site logistics, volunteer coordination, sponsorships and promotional opportunities and other related services. For more information, visit http://www.utahsportscommission.com

About Utah Olympic Oval

Built in 2001 just in time for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Utah Olympic Oval is located in the community of Kearns, just 16 miles west of Salt Lake City, Utah. The venue houses a 400- meter speed skating oval and two international size ice sheets as well as a four-lane 442-meter state of the art running track and eight 110-meter sprint lane. During the 2002 Games, the five- acre facility - roughly the size of four football fields – hosted all speedskating events. With 10 Olympic records and eight world records, the venue stands uncontested as the Fastest Ice on Earth following the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Today, the Utah Olympic Oval is headquarters for US Speedskating, ensuring a legacy of continued growth and international success for the sport. For more information, please visit UtahOlympicLegacy.com or call 801- 968-6825.

About US Speedskating

From Pond to Podium, we are US Speedskating. US Speedskating is responsible for the development of speedskating from grassroots to the highest elite racing programs. US Speedskating is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union as the governing body for the sport of speedskating in the United States. The Organization has won 86 Olympic medals to-date, making it one of the most successful sports in U.S. Olympic history. US Speedskating is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Follow us on Twitter @USSpeedskating, Instagram @USSpeedskating, on Facebook Facebook.com/USSpeedskating and at http://usspeedskating.org.

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