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Alf Engen Ski Museum Highlights Newly Renovated, Interactive Exhibits

The Alf Engen Museum at the Winter Sports Park has undergone a renovation that includes several exhibit updates. The official opening happened Tuesday  with a public unveiling. Carolyn Murray has this:

The museum is open seven days a week. The renovated exhibits include the Alf Engen Trophy case which is a vast collection of his national and international awards that span over half a century. Connie Nelson, Executive Director of the Alf Engen Museum said he immigrated from Norway as an already renowned ski jumper and professional soccer player.

“Our namesake for our museum located at Utah Olympic Park, is Alf Engen. He immigrated from Norway in 1929 and he had already achieved a great success as a ski jumper and soccer player. And then, when he moved to Utah, he continued as a ski jumper and a star player in soccer, which some people don’t know. We have updated this exhibit completely with new lighting and totally new case.”

The Stein Eriksen exhibit has also been redone and it includes an interactive video donated by Deer Valley.

“Another Norwegian known as the father of freestyle skiing. And, we celebrate all that he has brought to not only to America but to Park City, Utah. And, we have a video going that was donated by Deer Valley. It’s fun for me to see these two exhibits, in particular, where folks used to just walk by the trophy case. Now we have an interactive component where you can push a picture of a trophy on an interactive screen. And, up pops the whole story. So, we use that with our education. And, people really enjoy that. And the Stein Ericksen exhibit folks really enjoy watching the video of him doing his forward flip."

Nelson said they’ve updated the Hometown Heroes exhibit with Olympic athletes who grew up training in Park City. 

“We are featuring Silver Medalist, Keith Gable who is a Paralympian and he won the silver in snowboard cross. You know, local favorite, Sarah Hendrickson. She earned a spot in the 2018 US Olympic Ski Team. This is her second Olympic experience. And, we have a case representing her. And of course, Ted Ligety. He just spells out the hardest working alpine skier, born and bred here in Park City. And, we are proud to have him in our hometown heroes. And, half-pipe skier, Brita Sigourney, she actually won a bronze in the PeyongChang games."

Nelson said the Nordic Ski Jumper, Lyndsey Van is also highlighted with a new exhibit because she played an integral role in bringing women’s ski jumping to the Olympics.

“Her exhibit there showing her with Alf Engen in 1996. She is just a little girl and she had just finished jumping the K-90 sitting next to Alf. And, so, we have her 2009 world championship medal, her trophy, which is amazing and her bib and her outfit."

They’ll start a two-year capital campaign to raise about a million dollars to revamp half of the museum with updated, interactive exhibits.

“And, then when you look at the second half of the museum, it all needs to be redone, the topo map, the avalanche and we have some fabulous concept plans. These will be all interactive and state of the art, with incredible avalanche holographs. Really interesting and interactive.”

The museum is free to enter but the virtual exhibits are $5-dollars.

“Yeah, it’s free to enter the Alf Engen Museum, and the 2002 Olympic Museum upstairs. But we do have a virtual component where folks sit on a quad chair and they can experience a bob-sled ride, a virtual bob sled, a virtual speed flying off Mount Superior across from Snowbird. We have a powder run at Alta and we also have a mountain bike ride that we filmed up at Deer Valley on Tidal Wave. And, that’s $5-dollars for one of those and they can also ski jump for no charge. And, that’s a virtual ski jump off our K-120.”

Nelson said people especially love riding the virtual bob-sled. The museum is open every day from 9 to 6. Photos of the renovated exhibits are posted with this story on KPCW.org.

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