Friday, February 14, 2014

Fantastic gold medal


    Winter sports are the reason for everything in the Sun Valley area, and this week’s gold-medal Olympic half-pipe performance by Bellevue’s Kaitlyn Farrington was the epitome of what we love here: snow, sliding and big air.
    In a televised interview following her steady Wednesday victory that knocked out three former Olympic gold medalists for the top spot, she was effervescent as she waved and said, “Hi, Sun Valley!” as video of her childhood slides in the Sun Valley half-pipe played in the background.
    When the news of Farrington’s gold hit the River Run Lodge on a day when the snow was falling thick and heavy, a whooping cheer went up from the locals. Congratulatory signs went up on the doors of businesses in every valley community. Electronic media lit up with congratulatory posts and tweets as well as news stories.
    Farrington has joined the pantheon of Olympians who cut their teeth on Sun Valley’s runs and others who call the area home. It may be difficult for Farrington to absorb just how proud of her everyone in the Sun Valley area is. Every person whose life touched hers in positive ways—family members, friends, teachers and coaches—are part of her achievement and were behind her on that podium.
    While it seems surreal to her now, other Olympians know that her win cannot be overstated. Commentators called it a surprise because she surpassed former Oympians in the competition. But her history shows clearly that she has been on a long, steady climb to this pinnacle.
    Olympic athletes sacrifice a lot to get to the international games. Everyone who makes those sacrifices and trains just as hard as the medalists doesn’t end up on the podium. However, the message of the games and the athletes who participate is that it’s worth making the effort not only to win, but as a way to bring the world’s people together in a unified event that glorifies sports competition conducted with joy and in peace.
    So, “Hi, from everyone in Sun Valley, Kaitlyn! Fantastic!”




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