Luke Bodensteiner New Soldier Hollow General Manager

Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation (UOLF) announces the hiring of Luke Bodensteiner as the new General Manager of Soldier Hollow & Chief of Sport Development.

This position combines both the role of the currently vacant GM of Soldier Hollow Nordic Center position along with a desired “reinvestment” effort toward UOLF’s ongoing sport development interests. Luke Bodensteiner will oversee all aspects of the daily operation of the Nordic venue in the Heber Valley – from public programming to sport offerings in Nordic skiing and biathlon. The Soldier Hollow Nordic Center was added to the UOLF’s operational oversight in 2016. Since joining the UOLF family of venues, Soldier Hollow has hosted the IBU Biathlon World Cup – the venue’s first Biathlon World Cup since 2001 – and has undergone an uptick in venue improvements thanks to the State of Utah’s support. 

In addition to the General Manager role, Bodensteiner will also be taking on an equally important role of sport development for the UOLF.

Recognizing the importance of sport development for both the foundation and the state of Utah, UOLF created its first sport development initiative in 2007 to address desires for increased sport participation and improved quality of winter sport program offerings. A key goal for UOLF in 2007 was to significantly expand participation by Utahns of all ages and abilities in winter sport. With prudent investment by UOLF from 2007-2012, its sport programs have become four times busier today than just after the 2002 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games. That said, UOLF views a second phase effort is needed to further advance its sport programming and benefits derived from a well thought out next initiative. Utah has developed a very unique approach to venue uses that values world-class facilities, world-class sport programs and vibrant community uses of its venues. The organization, with Bodensteiner’s day-to-day leadership, will now further advance those sport development efforts.   

Luke has a long history with Olympic winter sport in Utah, as an NCAA champion and Olympian at the University of Utah, a member of the Board of Trustees for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Organizing Committee, a founder of the Soldier Hollow legacy venue, and a longtime member and most recent Chairman of the Board of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, during which time he worked closely with CEO Colin Hilton to initiate the UOLF’s first phase sport development initiative. 

“Utah’s winter sport athletes and stakeholder’s just got a second big investment toward their short and long-term goals,” said Colin Hilton, UOLF CEO & President. “I am super excited to see Luke bring his passion to our next step efforts, advancing a vibrant ‘Living Legacy’ of quality sport programs. We have shown the world that sport programs can be both pathways to develop active healthy lifestyles as well as be a progression for those that aspire to be the best they can be in winter sport. Luke will now work with our team and numerous winter sport stakeholders as we develop a next 10 year vision for how we refine those efforts.”   

“Soldier Hollow Nordic Center is in a position of tremendous opportunity from both a public and sport perspective,” said Calum Clark, UOLF’s Chief Operating Officer. “Luke’s extensive history in Nordic sports, the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center and the wider Utah community puts him in the perfect position to leverage the momentum of past success and elevate the programs and services hosted at this historic Olympic and Paralympic venue.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining an organization that’s accomplishing so much in Olympic and Paralympic sport, and which has established such a unique and powerful legacy,” said Luke Bodensteiner. “I feel very fortunate to be joining the effort at a time when the UOLF is moving aggressively to establish a leading edge winter sport culture in Utah, for the benefit of our communities, our youth, and our state’s long-term ambitions in winter sport.” 

Luke Bodensteiner joins the UOLF from his previous role as the Chief of Sport of U.S. Ski & Snowboard where he led the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Teams, the national training and education Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah, its sport science and medical programs, coach education and club development, athlete identification and development, athlete career and education programming, and club-level competition and ranking systems. Prior to joining U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Luke was a cross-country racer for the U.S. Ski Team, competing in the Olympics in 1992 and 1994. 

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Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: