Friday, January 30, 2009

Local organizations to host Olympians

Express Staff Writer

The Wood River Valley will become a host town for about 150 Special Olympics athletes from around the world beginning Wednesday, Feb. 4, for three days. The athletes will rest up from their travels, accustom themselves to the altitude and culture, attend a dance hosted by The Community School and even practice before heading to Boise for the World Winter Games Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7.

With help from the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau and the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games Organizing Committee, local groups and organizations volunteered to adopt a delegation for their stay in their homes. The following organizations and their members will host visiting delegations: Sawtooth Board of Realtors—Finland (37), Kosovo (5) Georgia Republic (5); Habitat for Humanity—Macedonia (5) Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Unit 21—New Zealand (18); Wood River YMCA—Ireland (15); City of Hailey/Hailey Chamber—Liechtenstein (14); Sun Valley Adaptive Sports—Tajikistan (5); St. Thomas Episcopal Church—Belgium (27); Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood—Peru (20).

"We are so grateful for the enthusiasm shown by the Wood River Valley community in hosting a portion of the athletes during the Host Town program and for the tremendous assistance provided by the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber," said Chip Fisher, chairman of the 2009 World Winter Games.

Dana DuGan:

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