From hometown hockey to World Championship titles, sports fans have plenty to cheer about in Ogden.
It stands to reason that Ogden, Utah’s “Notoriously Independent” nature has effectively put it on the map of the sporting world for quite some time in terms of individual sports. A century ago, Jack Dempsey waited tables on 25th Street by day and rolled into local saloons at night, challenging patrons to fights where serious betting would occur. Dempsey rarely lost these barroom brawls on his way to becoming the World Heavyweight Champion…a title he held from 1919 to 1926.
OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
The mountains that tower over Ogden crowned medalists during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in the downhill, combined, and Super-G events. Bode Miller, the most successful male American alpine ski racer of all time, won a couple of silvers that year at Snowbasin Resort on a course that every skier can still experience.
USA CYCLING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Since that time, Ogden has awarded USA Cycling National Championship titles to collegiate and masters road racers on grueling mountain climbs and blisteringly fast criterium courses on downtown streets.
Ogden, and nearby Powder Mountain, hosted the first two years of the USA Cycling Fat Bike National Championships. The passion for the fastest-growing segment of cycling stuck, and Ogden continues to host the Sweaty Yeti Fat Bike Race every year.
Regional off-road triathletes first competed here for the XTERRA Mountain Championships before Ogden became the location for the USA Championships, and ultimately welcomed athletes from around the globe for the XTERRA Pan-American Championships.
Athletes have ascended championship podiums in Ogden at the Archery World Cup, the Winter Dew Tour, and The Tour of Utah as Ogden has legitimately become known as “Title Town” among athletes in individual sports.
Even in individual athletic pursuits that don’t involve a clock or a score, Ogden has been central to exceptional athletes such as Jeff Lowe. The Ogden climber who recently passed away at the age of 67 was declared “The Best Alpinist of a Generation” in this moving Rock & Ice Magazine profile.
The accomplishment of athletes in individual sports has made Ogden a regular fixture on SportsCenter’s Top Ten over the years, but the area’s love of athletics extends to team sports as well.
An Ogden Raptors home game should be on every baseball lover’s bucket list. In addition to being regular contenders in the Pioneer League (and 2017 Champions), the club’s stadium has been awarded “The Most Scenic Stadium in Baseball.”
As an advanced-rookie, minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, nearly 40 pros have gone through Ogden on their way up to “The Big Show.” If you’re lucky, you’ll time your trip to Lindquist Field when MLB legend, Tommy Lasorda, is in town on one of his annual visits.
The Mustangs are the hometown Amateur Athletic Union-sanctioned junior ice hockey team, playing in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL). Home games are played at the Weber County Ice Sheet, located on the campus of Weber State University.
The Mustangs have had 38+ wins in each of their past four seasons. They were one game away from the championship game two seasons ago on home ice and then one goal short of a championship victory last season. The Mustangs are always a contender for the Thorne Cup, playing with a grittiness that is an ideal fit for Ogden.
Basketball fans will easily recognize three-time NBA All-Star and 2013 Rookie of the Year, Damian Lillard. During his time at Weber State University, he earned Player of the Year honors for the Big Sky Conference and had his signature #1 jersey retired.
The Wildcat football program has been putting up impressive numbers over the past few seasons . They finished the 2017 season ranked fifth after working their way through the FCS playoffs to the quarter-finals where they lost by just three points to eventual runner-up, James Madison.
A trip to Ogden, Utah is a chance to walk the streets that Jack Dempsey walked…to ski the slopes of decorated Olympians…to ride the roads of National Champions…to scale the peaks of world-renowned alpinists...to run the trails of World Champions.
Start planning that trip right here, sport.