Thursday, August 25, 2005

Steamboat Springs Winter Olympics Sendoff

We are fortunate to have such a great Olympic tradition in Steamboat and this is a good way to keep that Olympic spirit alive for the town in addition to the athletes. Not quite as good as a few medals but community support over time is what makes the programs that produce those medals possible. More importantly local Steamboat kids get to live the Olympic Dream and participate in the same programs from a young age if their goals are the Olympics or just improving themselves as an athlete and a person.

Selected quotes from the Steamboat Pilot:
Olympic-sized send-off planned By Christine Metz Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A bitter cold February night with a crowd of 5,000 people huddled near the Routt County Courthouse lawn, warmed by the spirit of a community that came together to celebrate and send off its finest athletes. The lighting of an 18-foot caldron, which would burn continuously for a month until every athlete returned home from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

Four years ago, the community's send-off celebration for its 16 Olympians became a magical moment in Steamboat history. Now, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. wants to replicate that night for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. To do so could cost $68,000. The $68,000 price tag includes a musical act on a full stage on Lincoln Avenue, a laser light show and fireworks and an estimated $12,000 to fuel the caldron's flame with natural gas throughout the Olympic Games.

Ski Corp. has selected Jan. 28 as the date for the celebration. Wirth said it will be three days after the U.S. Olympics team is named and before athletes will begin traveling to Italy. Wirth estimates 20 athletes who call Steamboat home have the potential of competing in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Wirth said they use the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club designation to calculate Winter Olympians from Steamboat -- basically those who train and live here or have trained and lived here for extended periods of time.
Full story at the Steamboat Pilot

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