Our View: Time to celebrate | SteamboatToday.com

Our View: Time to celebrate

On Friday, Steamboat Springs will send its Olympians to Vancouver, British Columbia, with typical Ski Town USA fanfare. The 2010 Olympic Send-off & Community Celebration will provide a fantastic opportunity for Routt County residents and visitors to get together and share excitement for Steamboat's Olympic heritage and for the upcoming games.

Historically, thousands have attended such send-offs downtown.

For the 2002 Winter Olympics, 5,000 people attended a party that shut down Lincoln Avenue. In December 2005, crowds gathered at Brent Romick Rodeo Arena and the Howelsen Hill area to honor the athletes going to the 2006 games.

The 2010 send-off starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday on the lawn of the historic Routt County Courthouse at Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue. Denver sports personality Drew Soicher, of 9News, will serve as the master of ceremonies. The event, sponsored by Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., will include Olympic stars, fireworks, the lighting of the community cauldron and an aerials show.

This year, we're sending off hometown favorites and plenty of athletes who have lived, trained or done both in Steamboat. We send our heartiest congratulations to those with local ties who have worked tirelessly and made the U.S. team: Brett Camerota, Billy Demong, Pat Deneen, Taylor Fletcher, Michelle Gorgone, Tyler Jewell, Jana Lindsey, Todd Lodwick, Michael Morse, Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, Johnny Spillane and Ryan St. Onge.

We wish those athletes — and all the others — the best of luck in Vancouver. We encourage them to represent their country and hometowns with pride and respect. We know they will.

Recommended Stories For You

It takes a lot of work and dedication from a lot of folks to help an athlete reach the pinnacle of his or her sport. Steamboat deserves a pat on the back for all it has done on behalf of our competitive winter athletes. In a way, this send-off celebrates that community effort, as well.

The 2010 Winter Olympics and the send-off also dovetail perfectly with another event that's part of Steamboat's storied heritage: Winter Carnival. There's no better time than now to celebrate all parts of Northwest Colorado's past, and that certainly includes our ranching history.

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, which trains many of our Olympians, organizes the carnival each year. Events start today with opening ceremonies at 5:30 p.m. at Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill. The street events, definitely a highlight, run all day Saturday and Sunday downtown.

So come out this weekend and join your neighbors at the send-off and at Winter Carnival. You'll get a chance to see this community at its very best — celebrating the Winter Olympics, the winter sports so many of us love and the ranching culture that's helped make Northwest Colorado a wonderful place to live.