Tales from the Tread: Celebrate Sochi in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Tales from the Tread: Celebrate Sochi in Steamboat

Candice Bannister/For the Steamboat Today

Steamboat Springs Nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick races along the Howelsen Hill cross-country course during the U.S. Nordic combined championships in 2006.

— We hope you were able to join us at the Tread of Pioneers Museum during our grand opening last year to see the new facility that the community helped us build.

The expansion provided a museum-quality facility for our growing collection, along with additional exhibit space for the compelling stories about our community's heritage. The new exhibits bring the past to life, using hands-on elements and multimedia technology. The newly expanded museum provides a must-see attraction for tourists and locals and allows us to safeguard the treasures that embody the legacy of the area.

One of the primary features of the new exhibit space is the "Ski Town USA" exhibit. This exhibit traces the history of snow sports in Steamboat Springs and includes displays on Carl Howelsen, the Winter Carnival, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (turning 100 this year), the founding of Steamboat Ski Area and our thriving Olympic legacy.

A current highlight in the "Ski Town USA" exhibit is a new display called "Looking Towards the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia." The display explores the city of Sochi, Russia, and the Olympic venues; the local athletes who made Team USA or had strong chances of making the team; and the sport of Nordic combined and our local athletes who earned spots on the Nordic combined Olympic team.

Here, you can learn more about six-time Olympian Todd Lodwick and other team members and the team's history-making results at the 2010 Winter Olympics, when our hometown heroes brought home the first Nordic Olympic medals in U.S. history.

Artifacts on display in the exhibit include:

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1. Olympic bronze medalist Shannon Dunn-Downing's 2002 Olympic jacket;

2. Olympic bronze medalist Nelson Carmichael's souvenir 1992 and 1998 Olympic pins;

3. Steamboat's first Olympian, ski jumper John Steele's commemorative 1932 medal;

4. 2014 Team USA (official apparel) mittens;

5. 1920s Steamboat Springs Ski Club emblem ski patch; and,

6. Olympic silver medalist Johnny Spillane's World Cup cross-country racing skis and poles.

If you haven't been to the museum lately, we hope you'll come by to celebrate our local talent competing in Sochi featured in the "Ski Town USA" exhibit. This is just one of many new exhibits installed in the past year.

The museum is always free for Routt County residents.

To further celebrate Sochi in Steamboat, the museum is hosting a "Meet the Olympians Night" at 6 p.m. Feb. 17 at Olympian Hall. This memorable evening will provide a chance to honor our local Olympians' accomplishments while giving the public an opportunity to hear their stories and ask questions.

The event is free and is sure to inspire all ages. The discussions will be recorded for the museum's oral history archive. We hope you'll join us!

Candice Bannister is executive director of the Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs.

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