SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — One of the most iconic pieces from the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics is getting ready for a triumphant return next week.
The famous Hoberman Arch — which has been missing from the city’s landscape for nearly 10 years after pieces of the Arch were stolen — looks to be finding a new home at the Salt Lake International Airport.
Earlier this week, the Salt Lake International Airport teased a new outdoor feature saying in an advisory to media, “What weighs 31,000 pounds, is made up of 4,000 individual pieces and resembles the movement of a human iris?” Airport officials then invited media to an unveiling of the art piece on Tuesday, Aug. 29 with Salt Lake City officials and Olympic guests in attendance.
Earlier in the year, Salt Lake City said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that it was in the process of restoring the Hoberman Arch and it would be available for public viewing “later this year.”
The Arch is an iconic piece of Utah’s history. Designed by Chuck Hoberman, the Arch was installed in the front of the stage at the Olympic Medals Plaza for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. With music lighting and moving parts, it signaled the start of each evening’s medal ceremony and revealed the Olympic flame.
For years following the Olympics, the Hoberman Arch was proudly displayed at Rice Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah until it was disassembled and moved. While it was being held in a Salt Lake City impound lot, parts of the iconic Arch were stolen — parts which were later discovered in a Salt Lake Police Department evidence warehouse by ABC4’s Brian Carlson during an episode of Behind the Badge.
Lyle Olsen, a West Valley City resident who has long wondered what became of the Hoberman Arch was elated to hear it would be reemerging from history, though he did have some reservations.
“I’m glad to hear they are finally doing something with it,” Olsen told ABC4. “It was such an iconic piece of the 2002 Olympics and Salt Lake City when it got taken down from Rice Eccles Stadium [they] just dumped it in a yard and that isn’t where it should be. It should be assembled out on display so people can see it and we need to celebrate our Olympics.”
Olsen said he wished the Arch was going in a place that was a little more accessible, saying the Salt Lake International Airport wouldn’t have been his first choice. While a lot of people coming and going to and from Utah through the airport will see the Arch, Olsen just hopes there is some kind of access so people can stop and take pictures.