Utah governor to honor Sarah Hendrickson

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah  - The 2nd Annual Governor's State of Sport Awards will honor Utah native and ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson with the Olympian of the Year award. 

The awards ceremony will honor  individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to sport  in Utah in 2012.  In celebration of Utah's Olympic Legacy, Governor  Herbert and the Utah Sports Commission will present  this year's Olympian of the Year award to Sarah Hendrickson to recognize her excellence and achievement in Olympic Sport.


 "Utah  is proud of its Olympic legacy and the success of our Olympic athletes  that live and train here," said Governor Herbert.  "Our world class  venues, athlete training  and hosting of major sporting events has helped to create successful  Olympians like Sarah Hendrickson."

Hendrickson grew up not far from the Utah Olympic Park in Park City.    As a 7 year old, she watched the 2002 Olympics and followed her  father and brother into  ski jumping. Today, on the eve of her sport’s debut in the Olympic  Winter Games in Sochi, Hendrickson has established herself as one of ski  jumping’s biggest stars, winning the 2012 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup  title.

"Since  I was born and raised in this wonderful state of Utah, it is such an  honor to receive an award from the Governor himself," said  Hendrickson, a Visa Women's Ski Jumping Team member. "Having  an award given to an athlete just shows how much pride the state puts  in its athletes and sport programs. I am very honored."

As a  13-year-old, Hendrickson medaled on the large hill at U.S.  Championships. At 14 she won a FIS Continental Cup (predecessor to the  World Cup). By 15, she was a Junior Worlds medalist. And in 2011-12,  the then 17-year-old Park City native opened the inaugural FIS World  Cup season for women’s ski jumping with a win on the Olympic jump in  Lillehammer. Three months later she won nine of 13 World Cups and taken the debut title. In December 2012, she made her  first trip to Sochi and picked up yet another win on the Olympic hill.

"Athletes  like Sarah continue to play a key role in reminding the world that Utah  has a very strong Olympic legacy from 2002," said Jeff Robbins,  president  & CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.  "We are thrilled to recognize Sarah for her achievements in the Olympic sport of ski jumping."

Utah  Governor Gary R. Herbert will recognize Sarah and others, along with  tennis legend Andre Agassi at the awards luncheon on Tuesday, April 16,  11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  at the Zions Bank Basketball Center.

In  addition to the Olympian of the Year award, a Lifetime Achievement  award will be presented to Spencer F. Eccles and a Partner of the Year  award will be presented  to the United States Ski & Snowboard Association.