Steamboat is known as Ski Town U.S.A. TVs will be tuned in to the Olympics throughout the Winter Games in Vancouver to see how the local kids are doing. Steamboat sent their competitors off with a huge Olympic Send-off and Community Celebration for all athletes. Everyone in town was there. The main street through Steamboat, which is also a highway, was closed for the massive event, which had a Jumbotron, Fuzz Federson's Flying Ace All-Stars revving up the crowd on their trampolines, and locals spinning tales of town lore.
Then it was time for the Olympians. Steamboat boasts more 84 former Olympic athletes living in the town, and a good portion of them were introduced on the stage. Athletes included Billy Kidd, Nelson Carmichael, Tyler Jewell, and Bill Demong. This is Demong's fourth Olympics. "This is like our opening ceremonies," said the Nordic combined skier.
Demong was back up on stage when those athletes competing in Vancouver, who live and train in Steamboat, were introduced, to the roar of the crowd. There are 17. U.S. Olympic Athlete of the Year Todd Lodwick spoke of how special it was to represent the United States and Steamboat. Lodwick is a world champion competing in his fifth Olympic games.
Aspen/Snowmass held a community celebration to honor seven local athletes headed to the Olympics. The ceremony was held in Gondola Plaza at the base of Aspen Mountain. Casey Puckett competes in SkiCross. Snowboarders Chris Klug and Gretchen Bleiler are from Aspen. Jeremy Abbot grew up in Aspen and is on the U.S. Figure Skating Team.
Vail is sending its share of superstar skiers to the Winter Games. Sarah Schleper is going to her fourth Winter Olympics, while this marks number three for Lindsey Vonn.