Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Golden Girl lauded at gala

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Sun Valley Resort and the Wood River Valley community joined forces Saturday to honor Kaitlyn Farrington, the winner of the gold medal in the women’s snowboard halfpipe competition last month at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Farrington, 24, of Bellevue, arrived at the party appropriately by snowboarding down the Lower Warm Springs ski run with an entourage of close to 50 of her friends, family, coaches, ski instructors and members of her snowboarding sorority, including riding buddy and fellow U.S. Snowboard Team member Maddy Schaffrick and longtime snowboard sponsor and mentor Barrett Christy. She then was delivered to the Warm Springs Lodge terrace stage by ski patrolmen. Farrington was then heralded in speeches by Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation spokesperson Jody Zarkos, state Sen. Michelle Stennett, Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas, Bellevue Mayor Chris Koch, KTVB news anchor Mark Johnson, Christy, SVSEF snowboard coach Andy Gilbert, SVSEF Executive Director Rob Clayton and Sun Valley Resort General Manager Tim Silva. Photos, clockwise from top: A happy Farrington displays a lifetime ski pass given to her by Sun Valley Co. After her Warm Springs descent, Farrington is hoisted up on the shoulders of ski patrolmen Sean Glaccum, left, and Whiz McNeal and led to the stage by Skooter Gardiner. In addition to presenting Farrington with an engraved putter for her golf game, Koch presented a sign renaming the portion of the bike path that goes through Bellevue “Kaitlyn Farrington Way.” Gilbert said he saw early talent in a young Farrington, who trained and practiced hard but also enjoyed doing tricks and routines the “Farrington Way.” Farrington is wearing a cape delivered to her by Johnson but given to her by Austin, Texas, music duo Ghostland Observatory band member Thomas Ross Turner. The group also sent a video message expressing their excitement that Farrington listened to their hit song “Give Me the Beat” while throwing down her gold-medal-winning run in Sochi.
Express photos by Willy Cook

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