Friday, August 14, 2009

Olympians on show

SVSEF hosts fundraising barbecue

Express Staff Writer

Cross-country 2010 Olympic hopeful Alexa Turzian will attend the Olympicfest this Sunday. Photo courtesy SVSEF

Is that the smell of gold in the air? Quite possibly, mixed with some silver, bronze and a lot of hope. This Sunday, Aug. 16, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation will throw an Olympicfest.

Head to Ketchum's Forest Service Park to enjoy a succulent Argentinean lamb asada, hear music by former World Cup racer-turned-folk-rocker Bryon Friedman and meet former and perhaps future Olympians.

The former Olympic athletes on show will include Dick Fosbury, Chuck Ferries, Reggie Crist, Sondra Van Ert and Tyler Palmer.

There are 12 potential 2010 Vancouver Sun Valley Olympians: Kaitlyn Farrington (snowboard halfpipe), Graham Watanabe (snowboardcross), Langely McNeal and Biche Rudigoz (skiercross), Shane Cordeau (freestyle moguls) and cross-country hopefuls Morgan Arritola, Nicole DeYong, Reid Pletcher, Colin Rodgers, Mike Sinnott, Alexa Turzian and Kate Whitcomb. Most will be at the fundraising event to meet and greet the public.

"I'm really excited to be part of this event, and am thankful for our community's support," Langely McNeal said. "Hopefully I'll be able to do this valley proud."

The 2010 Olympics will be the first time her discipline—skiercross—has been included.

The purpose behind the fundraising event is to raise the profile of the local Olympic athletes.

"We've had an Olympic development team for the last five years," said Karoline Droege, SVSEF development director. "But there is very little awareness, and we felt we needed to do a community event to create more. The athletes will be there to talk to the guests and mingle."

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children and are available in advance at the Elephant's Perch, Backwoods Mountain Sports, PK's Ski & Sports, Atkinsons' in Ketchum (look for the athletes), and at the door.

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