Watch party cheers on Winters as he and Burns are eliminated in first round of Olympic Alpine snowboarding
If watching your son participate in the Olympics was an Olympic sport, Dave and Sue Winters would be in medal contention.
They went all out while hosting a watch party for Cody Winters, who was making his Olympic debut Monday, Feb. 7, in Alpine snowboarding.
Cars packed both sides of their street in downtown Steamboat Springs, and flickering lights led the way to the front door. A photographer captured people posing with a cardboard cut out of Winters, who wore a USA scarf. The living room was decked out in Olympic and USA banners. Flags of the world hung from the ceiling.
The women’s big air finals played on the television in the living room. Sue encouraged everyone to move to the garage where a projector cast the Games on a large white screen.
A couple of women shared temporary tattoos of the Olympic rings. Another attendee passed out cutouts of Winter’s head and banners that read, ‘Go Team Cody.’ Everyone had at least one.
More than 30 people packed the garage with more in the house. More than half wore some sort of Team USA gear or opted for red, white and blue clothing. The photographer transitioned into a videographer, capturing the evening so the Winters family would have it in digital form forever.
All that preparation was for about 40 seconds of action.
Winters, 21, appeared on the projector screen and everyone picked up their signs and screamed as if they were at the base of Howelsen Hill and Winters was within earshot.
Winters launched out of the gate and the watch party got even louder.
Four gates down the blue course, Winters lost an edge and skidded a smidge. That would have been fine and his time wouldn’t have suffered terribly, but he continued to skid as he turned to his toe side.
Someone in the Winters garage threw his hands above his head. Then leaned forward and ripped off his hat.
Winters finished the first run with the third-slowest time. He would have to have an astounding second run in order to have one of the top-16 fastest times among the 31 competitors.
In his second run, Winters developed a lead over Germany’s Elias Huber.
However, another heel turn did him in. He stumbled and fell behind Huber. Winters ended up with a combined time of 1:27.8 for 29th.
“I’m feeling a huge mix of emotions,” Dave said. “Relief that the anticipation leading up to the event is over, sadness he didn’t live up to his potential and of course unbelievable pride that my own flesh and blood competed in the Olympics.”
Robby Burns, a former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athlete, suffered a sadly similar fate.
The 31-year-old had the slowest time after the first run due to a blunder. He was all alone for the second run due to an odd number of competitors. He needed to have a perfect run in order to have any sort of chance to move on to the next round. Burns had a great run going, but a skid halfway down the course dashed his hopes of moving on.
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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