Evening includes special guest Jay Leno, Lifetime Achievement recipient Stei n Eriksen, and Partner of the Year recipient Deer Valley Resort

Salt Lake City, UT, February 26, 2015 – Acclaimed entertainer and motorsports enthusiast jay leno will help celebrate Utah’s best athletic achievements for the 2014 calendar year at the 4th annual Governor’s State of Sport Awards dinner to be held Tuesday April 21 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at EnergySolutions Arena.

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert will provide welcoming remarks, and present special awards to those who have achieved excellence in sport in the state of Utah, and recognize the important role sports and the sports industry plays in Utah.

 “Sports are a major part of this state’s cultural identity and each year hundreds of thousands gather in Utah to witness exciting sporting events, to celebrate athleticism and individual excellence,” said Gov. Herbert. “I am truly honored to welcome one of the world’s greatest entertainers and sportsmen, jay Leno, as he joins us for this event.”

A motorsports enthusiast, Leno is a monthly columnist in “Popular Mechanics” and in his spare time, he enjoys working on his collection of classic cars and motorcycles. Leno has also become involved in custom builds, including the production of the bio-diesel powered, and highly acclaimed, Eco Jet.

Olympic Gold Medalist and Deer Valley Ski School director, Stein Eriksen will receive the Governor’s State of Sport Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to skiing and sports in Utah. Eriksen is a skiing legend around Park City, and one of the city’s first Olympians, even though he never competed for the United States. He won the gold medal in the giant slalom in the 1952 Winter Olympics, held in his native country of Norway. He followed his Olympic victory with three gold medals – slalom, giant slalom and combined – at the World Ski Championships in Sweden two years later.

After his racing days, Eriksen recalls signing a one-page contract with Edgar Stern, the owner of what was then known as the Park City Ski Area. Eriksen had already made several stops teaching skiing at other American resorts, but followed Stern as he opened Deer Valley Resort, touted as a ski mountain that would provide top-shelf service to the skiers. His ties with Deer Valley go back to its opening day in 1981, and his legacy mirrored in the Stein Eriksen Lodge, a property that is world-renown for its excellence.

The 2015 Partner of the Year Award will be presented to Deer Valley Resort. 34 years ago, Edgar Stern wanted to revolutionize the ski industry based upon this concept: provide a complete, luxurious ski experience by combing first-class guest service, premier accommodations and gourmet food alongside the best skiing terrain. This concept, envisioned by Edgar and Polly Stern and cultivated by years of experience in the hospitality industry, found its culmination in Deer Valley Resort.

In its 33-year history, in addition to consistently ranking #1 in SKI Magazine, Deer Valley has received countless other awards and recognition. Deer Valley Resort was host to the men’s and women’s freestyle aerial, freestyle mogul and alpine slalom events during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the 2003 and 2011 Freestyle World Championships and is a favorite stop on the Freestyle World Cup circuit each year. Each of these events bring significant economic impact and exposure to the state of Utah.

The Governor’s State of Sport Awards, hosted by the Utah Sports Commission and presented by Zions Bank, celebrate Utah’s sports community and honors excellence in high school, amateur, collegiate, Olympic and professional sports. Sports fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite athletes, coaches, players, plays and events. The event also recognizes key sports partners who have been instrumental in helping to build Utah’s sports industry.

“The Utah Sports Commission is excited to host the 4th annual Utah ‘fan’s choice’ award event that will allow sports fans and citizens in Utah to have a voice in selecting and recognizing those who inspire, entertain and thrill them,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. “We could not create this event without the help of our terrific partners including Zions Bank, KUTV2, 1280 The Zone, ESPN 700, Price Realty and many others.”

The awards will be presented for the 2014 calendar year and will include the categories High School Female, High School Male, Collegiate Female, Collegiate Male, Professional/Olympian Female, Professional/Olympian Male, Team of the Year, Coach of the Year and Event/Highlight of the Year. A committee comprised of Utah’s sports media and sports community selected the nominees. Nominees are scheduled to be announced in mid-March, at which time, fans can visit www.stateofsportawards.com to vote for the best athletic achievement in each category.

To purchase tables or sponsorship information, call the Utah Sports Commission at 801-328-2372.


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