Idaho’s own ‘Olympics’
by PAT MURPHY
of world-class international Nordic skiers into the Sun Valley/Ketchum
area to train for the Olympics was no accident or the result of dumb good
well-oiled campaign for Idaho and Sun Valley to become an important
adjunct to the Salt Lake City Olympics was organized beginning five years
Idaho auto license plate with the skier is the Idaho 2002 Committee’s
idea. The plate has yielded $160,000 in three years—half for marketing
Idaho as part of the Olympics, the other half to the Idaho Ski Areas
In one of
its canniest decisions, the committee hired Professor Lisa Delpy of George
Washington University—a sports management expert who’s attended 11
Olympics to write a how-to book for Idaho on cashing in on the Salt Lake
handbook led to other decisions—brochures about Idaho (and Sun Valley)
as ideal training sites, and sent to federations; a visitor’s center in
Salt Lake to increase international awareness of Idaho; tips for Idaho
businesses on obtaining contracts for services and supplies to the
In the end,
Carl Wilgus of the Idaho Department of Commerce says that an estimated 10
percent of all Olympic competitors will have trained in Idaho—at least
200 of them in Sun Valley, according to Jack Sibbach, the Sun Valley
Company’s rep on the committee.
number of businesses have picked up contracts in Salt Lake City.
only guess what benefits lie down the road for Sun Valley and Idaho
because of the international teams who came, saw and found the area
remarkable. Sibbach quoted several Scandinavian skiers as saying our
cross-country trails here are superior to those in their part of the
knows how much of a boost the area will get if our hometown guy, Tim Ryan,
a Sun Valley resident who’s announcing the Olympics for NBC television,
slips in a plug or two about Sun Valley while hundreds of millions of
viewers are watching the games around the world.
three weeks that most of these skiers from nearly a dozen countries were
in our midst, it was quite a sight—and inspiring sight—to see their
all-out morning workouts on the trails.
Valley offered an expected thrill for a couple of the Norwegians that had
little to do with Olympic training.
Hetland and Anders Aukland were almost speechless about encountering a
mountain lion on a Sun Valley trail ¾ an incident reported in Norway’s
experience was so breathtaking that I could return to Norway straight
away. I’ve had my Olympic experience already," Hetland was quoted
will have to begin asking themselves whether they want to live in an armed
camp under the guise of being protected by the government from harm.
spectacle of overwhelming security at the Olympics and the Super Bowl and
screening at airports resembles what international travelers have seen for
years—heavily-armed Army troops, snipers on rooftops, pat-downs and
searches, rigid rules on where people may walk and when.
that protect citizens by gradually, relentlessly removing and reducing
their freedom of movement and overseeing their movements and security with
armed troops, are governments that soon control, not protect.
It may not
be his intent, but President Bush’s constant rant that "we’re at
war" and egging even tighter security on the nation has the
inevitable result of scaring people into submitting to less freedoms.
such an area so remote from the front lines of terrorism, Idaho’s
legislators are prepared to vote reduced freedoms for its citizens in the
name of security and at the request of Attorney General Alan Lance.
security so tight that government decides when and where it’s safe.