Saturday, April 05, 2014

Parade for the Park City Olympians

A local parade is our small town's way of showing how much we appreciate our local Olympians. Julie, Jasper and I went down to Main Street this afternoon to watch the celebration.  It was sunny this morning.  It is sunny now.  During the parade?  Snow. It figures.  Springtime in Park City.
While the parade was to honor our local Olympians, all the Park City kids on winter sports teams got to be in the parade as well.  In a town of 8,000 people, it seems the 7,500 of them are kids who competitively ski, luge, jump, figure skate, or something related.
The first to come by was Stein Eriksen, the namesake of the renowned Stein Eriksen lodge in Deer Valley.  He won gold and silver medals in the 1952 Olympics (giant slalom and slalom).

Stein is 86 now and we don't see him out skiing anymore, but he is still a deeply rooted part of the Park City community.  ... and no, his hair never moves.
Joss Christensen, Freeskiing Gold medalist.
Not sure I caught who is who, but in this group were some bobsledders, a figure skater and a speed skater. Apologies for no names...
Sage Kotsenburg, Snowboarding Slopestyle Gold medal.  You might remember him.  He won his competition by landing a trick (1620 Japan Grab) he had never tried before.  Nice time to give it a shot.
Right after the Olympics were held in Sochi, the Paralympics were held in the same venues.  We have a wonderful facility here called the National Abilities Center, where people with physical and mental disabilities can participate in activities like skiing, wake boarding, cycling and many others.  They have a big program going now with wounded vets.

While a lot of the NAC participants are happy just getting to be a part of these activities, they also have some very serious, Olympic caliber athletes.   I think there were about a dozen NAC athletes competing in Sochi.
It is really amazing to live in a town where you can have a parade with less than half the local Olympians (past and present) show up, and still have a pretty lengthy parade.  It was fun getting to pay honor to their efforts and achievements.
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