10 ways to celebrate Steamboat’s Olympic Heritage and local athletes going to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Delve into the heart-racing frenzy of anticipation, tales of athletic finesse all put to the test within minutes, seconds — all on the world stage.
In Steamboat Springs, residents and visitors will have a chance to relive those monumental moments with a glimpse into Steamboat’s Olympic heritage prior to the start of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This year’s Olympics run Feb. 9-25.
On the 2018 U.S. Olympic team, 15 of the athletes either grew up here, moved here as kids or came later to train with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s specific coaches and programs.
With a total of 89 Steamboat athletes — more winter Olympians than any other town in North America — here are a few ways you can celebrate the Olympic spirit and tradition in Ski Town U.S.A.
List of To-Do’s to celebrate Steamboat’s Olympic Heritage
Stepping through the entry way of Olympian Hall, the memories wave on each flag hanging from every crevice of open space: American, Norwegian, Japanese, Canadian and more. A nod to the past, as well as the countries that hosted them, each flag contains the name of a Steamboat Olympian along with which Olympic Games he or she participated in.
Olympian tribute exhibit
Second floor of Thunderhead-upper gondola building | Steamboat Ski Area
The Tread of Pioneers Museum and Steamboat Ski Area have partnered to produce an Olympian tribute display on the second floor of Thunderhead (upper gondola building) at the Steamboat Ski Area. The exhibit celebrates all of our local Olympians and tells the story of the competitive spirit and quest for excellence that began with Norwegian ski jumper Carl Howelsen and continues to this day. (Fee to ride the gondola and/or ski).
Ski Town USA exhibit
Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday | Tread of Pioneers Museum | 800 Oak St.
This permanent exhibit at the Tread of Pioneers Museum delves into the development of skiing as essential winter transportation to today’s recreational sport. See a chair from the lift that once went to the top of Emerald Mountain along with memorabilia from past Olympic athletes. The exhibit also features local 2018 Olympians and their paths to excellence.
Olympic history trivia
As a bonus, the museum will post Olympic history trivia throughout the Olympic season on Facebook, with prizes awarded to the first person to provide the correct answer.
Meet an Olympian talks
1 to 1:30 p.m. | Steamboat Ski Area, second floor Thunderhead/upper gondola building at Olympian tribute display
Held select Saturdays during the ski season. Meet Steamboat Olympians and hear their stories of triumph and hardship on their road to Olympic dreams. Presented by Steamboat Ski Area in partnership with the Tread of Pioneers Museum. Visit steamboat.com for more information.
February 17 | Ann Battelle
Ann Battelle was Steamboat’s first four-time Olympian. She’s also a 1999 World Championships winner, 1999 and 2000 World Cup Champion, six-time U.S. National Champion and The Denver Post’s 2000 Colorado Sports Woman of the Year.
Ski to celebrate Steamboat Olympians
At the Steamboat Ski Area, pay homage to Steamboat’s past and present Olympians by skiing one of the following runs in remembrance and celebration.
- Buddy’s Run (Buddy Werner)
- Nelson’s Run (Nelson Carmichael)
- Olympic Flags — Ski over to the trees between Quickdraw and Flintlock below Rendezvous Way to find flags of countries represented in past Olympics.
Ski with Olympians
Ski with Billy Kidd
1 p.m. | Top of the gondola by the “Why Not” run to ski with him down “Heavenly Daze.”
Keep an eye out for the sign at the top of the gondola that will say if Billy Kidd plans to ski “Heavenly Daze” that day. Kidd, who became one of the first American males, along with teammate Jimmie Heuga, to win Olympic medals in skiing in 1964 Olympics, has hosted this free clinic for more than 35 years.
Ski with Nelson Carmichael
1 p.m. | Four Points Hut
Olympic bronze medalist and World Cup Champion Nelson Carmichael offers a moguls clinic almost every Sunday at 1 p.m. Meet at Four Points Hut to ski his namesake, “Nelson’s Run.”
Check the grooming report to see if the Olympians plan to ski that day.
Visit the Bud Werner Memorial Library
Walk through the Buddy Werner display at the second floor entrance into Library Hall for a story of Buddy Werner and Steamboat’s overall history, including information on Werner’s brother and sister, who were also Olympians.
Tread of Pioneers Museum’s Olympic Heritage Tours
4 p.m. Wednesdays during February | Howelsen Hill Lodge, 845 Howelsen Hill Parkway
Explore Steamboat’s Olympic heritage with the museum to learn about one of the town’s characters, Carl Howelsen, the history of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Winter Carnival, Howelsen Hill and ski jumping. Tour select locations downtown with guidance from the Tread of Pioneers walking tour brochure. Free.
Tread of Pioneers Museum Winter Film Series
“I Never Look Back: The Buddy Werner Story”
6 p.m. Feb. 13 | Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Steamboat Springs Alpine ski racer and Olympian Buddy Werner became the first American to break the Europeans’ domination in the sport of skiing. Werner was the first American to win major international skiing awards, making him among the most accomplished American ski racers in history. Experience Werner’s triumphs, tribulations and tragic death in this 1997 biographical film by John and Joe Dee. Free.
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