Sun Valley salutes
2002 contenders and
former Olympians gather at celebration
Express Staff Writer
air swept through the River Run Lodge Tuesday evening as the Sun Valley
Co. and the Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce honored local
Olympians, past and present.
Davis, a Paralympic mono-skier, chats with a couple of admirers
Tuesday at the Olympic Community Celebration. Express photo by Willy
Community Celebration especially noted the presence of two Wood River
Valley Olympians, Sondra Van Ert, of the U.S. Snowboard Team, and Muffy
Davis, a Paralympic mono-skier.
present were Idaho Lt. Gov. Jack Riggs, Sen. Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum,
Earl Holding, owner of Sun Valley Co., and Olympic torch bearers Rod
Tatsuno and Paula Macaya.
displayed a long string of autographed race bibs signed by Wood River
students that he wore during his recent run with the Olympic Torch in Twin
Executive Director Carol Waller also introduced Ketchum resident Chip
Fisher, who was instrumental in bringing U.S. and international Olympians
to the valley to train. For the past couple of years heís served as the
co-chair of the Governorís State Olympic Committee.
were so pleased at the great community turn-out considereing this was all
pulled together by Carrie Schiller-Westergard, the chamberís director of
marketing who coordinated the event, in about a weekís time," said
told the partisan Sun Valley crowd that "Sun Valley is still my first
love," despite all the attention that his Utah ski resort, Snowbasin,
is receiving as an Olympic venue. Many improvements were made so that it
could be ready for and used during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
honored that so many of you supported this mountain, the great snow, great
place, great employees," he said about Sun Valley and Bald Mountain.
presented Davis with his fatherís family gold signet ring to wear during
the Paralympics in March. The ring was brought from Japan with the elder
Tatsuno many years before he and his family were interned in Utah during
World War II. Rod, a Ketchum ski instructor, was born at the camp .
visibly moved, said that she had taken the same ring to Nagano, Japan, in
1998 as a good luck charm. She won a Bronze medal that year in the
Paralympics. Davis said that sheíd be wearing the ring around her neck
when she competes in Ogden in early March.
just enjoying it all," said a happy and relaxed Davis. "I have a
month of training before my first race on March 7."
introduced her fellow U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team, who were training on
Bald Mountain. They include Jeff Greenwood, Pete Thorndike, and Chris Klug
from the menís team, and from the womenís team Rosey Fletcher, Lisa
Odynski and Lisa Kosglow from Boise. They all stood in front of a roaring
fire surrounding Davis, along with several past Olympians, who also hail
from the Wood River Valley.
all because of you and this wonderful town that I can get out there and
climb to the top of the podium, and know that when Sondra and I get there
youíre there with us," Davis said to the crowd, who responded with
a deafening cheer, hearty applause and nary a dry eye.