Recently, the Standard-Examiner staff came up with an unofficial list of each state’s unofficial sport. Every state, Alaska to West Virginia, was assigned an unofficial state sport, encompassing everything from mushing to kickball.
What was Utah’s unofficial sport? Church basketball, of course. Now, we at The Signpost can jump on this bandwagon without a second glance. We all love the sound of tennis shoes squeaking on the waxed gym floor, and players shouting obscenities like “fetch,” “shoot,” “oh my heck” and “dang it.” But, Utah’s dominant culture aside, there are other sports we feel are more deserving of being Utah’s unofficial-official sport.
Utah doesn’t have the greatest snow on earth just to lose winter sports like skiing and snowboarding to the likes of Vermont and New Hampshire, which were both awarded with these sports in the list. That’s just silly. This unofficial list makes us consider a few small details, like when was the last time Winter Olympics were in Vermont or New Hampshire? That’s right — never. Utah deserves to be the king and rightful owner of these unofficial state sports.
Having the greatest snow on earth, as well as world-famous mountain resorts and wild backcountry, Utah should be known as the winter recreation capital of the world. Sorry, Colorado, but this is OUR claim to fame.
Which brings us to another point. Although Utah was the venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics, summer, spring and fall sports like mountaineering, water skiing and especially cycling are some of Utah’s most popular recreational activities.
The popularity of cycling, especially disciplines like mountain biking, is another thing that sets Utah apart from other states. Moab and other southern cities are renowned worldwide for their mountain-biking trails. Ogden recently hosted some international visitors who came for a cycling tour of the city and surrounding area.
XTERRA, a triathlon that welcomes athletes from all over the globe, is held in our own backyard at Snowbasin Resort. In this competition, athletes get to experience trail running, swimming and mountain biking in Utah’s mountains.
Massachusetts may think the marathon is their unofficial official sport, but they can take their running shoes elsewhere. The St. George Iron Man course is said to be one of the toughest in the world, and the St. George Marathon is a training ground for other courses across the world. Utah wins again.
We take the cake for awesome alternative sports, and can challenge most states for their titles. Except in college football. Weber’s record is a shame compared to states like Alabama, Texas and Ohio. We won’t pick a fight over football, especially when we have pickleball making a premiere in Ogden as well. Pickleball trumps football anyway.
Clearly, Utah is just a sporty state. So instead of picking just one sport to represent our rich and diverse recreation possibilities, we’d like to think Utah’s unofficial official sport is “all the above.” We think all sports are better played in Zion.