SVSEF Marks Olympic Day with Community-Wide Celebration

Sun Valley Olympians and SVSEF Gold Team members take center stage at Olympic Day. Photos by Sue Conner.

Olympic Day 2017 did not disappoint as the Wood River Valley community turned out to pay tribute our local Olympians and Paralympians, herald the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, and celebrate the Olympic spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

Despite the small town vibe of the valley, we boast big talent on an international level evidenced by the 15 luminaries who graced the stage at Ketchum Town Square Wednesday evening.

On hand to celebrate Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s fourth annual Olympic Day were athletes Charles Ferries (1960/1964, Alpine Skiing), Dates Fryberger (1964, Ice Hockey), Terry Palmer (1972, Alpine Skiing), Maria Maricich (1984, Alpine Skiing), Reggie Crist (1992, Alpine Skiing), Greg Randolph (1996, Cycling), Sondra Van Ert (1998/2002, Snowboard), Jonna Mendes (1998/2002, Alpine Skiing), Muffy Davis (1998/2002/2012, Alpine Skiing and Hand Cycling), Hilary Knight (2010/2014, Ice Hockey), Jake Adicoff (2014, Cross Country Skiing), and alpine coaches Michel Rudigoz, Phil McNichol and Ferries.

Also introduced to the crowd was SVSEF’s Gold Team, consisting of elite cross country athletes Mary Rose, Kevin Bolger, Jack Hegman, Cole Morgan and Matt Gelso. Deedra Irwin, Rogan Brown and Kelsey Phinney were unable to attend.

Olympic Day is staged in 160 countries around the world and observed by millions of people who come together to celebrate the Olympic pillars of move, learn and discover. More than 2,100 Olympic Day celebrations were staged nationwide with nearly a million participants.

SVSEF’s incarnation of Olympic Day consisted of a Scavenger Hunt which took 12 participating youth teams throughout Ketchum to find the names of Olympians and Paralympians, everyday items and test their local knowledge. “Team Berrylicious” with Skye Pringle, Scarlett Pringle, Isabella Hattrup, Marley Macco and Channing won the championship with 75 points. “Various Garbonzos” comprised of O.T. Mullen, Walker Pate, Oscar Mullen, Keaton Pate and Paxton Sammis was second with 65 points.

Kids of all ages could also be found testing their physical prowess on Ski Erg cross country trainers, Skier’s Edge, rowing machines, and hockey station with a “shooter tutor,” which received a ton of play with 2018 national women’s hockey team member Hilary Knight in attendance.

Kids take aim at improving their shooting skills at the hockey station.

Once on the square, revelers partook in food and drink provided by local businesses, including The Cellar Pub, Ketchum Grill, The Haven, Dave’s Smokin’ Meats, Sawtooth Brewery and Leroy’s. Dennis McNamara was the grand prize winner of the raffle, taking home a Mammut avalanche backpack and air cartridge donated by The Elephant’s Perch. Event support was also provided by Morgan’s Fine Finishes and Swire Coca Cola.

Throughout the night, the five-piece band High Mountain Heard with front men SVSEF coach James Tautkus and Luc McCann (whose daughter, Mykala, wowed the crowd with her impassioned version of “Wagon Wheel”) graced center stage.

SVSEF alumni Sondra Van Ert and Muffy Davis.

Three-time Paralympic gold medalist Muffy Davis cut the ribbon on a new panel on the square that bears the names – including her own – of five Sun Valley Paralympic athletes, four of whom are SVSEF alumni; Jake Adicoff and guide Reid Pletcher and Elitsa Storey, as well as Lacey Heward.

SVSEF Executive Director Sam Adicoff remarked, “Unlike past years, Olympic Day wasn’t just for the SVSEF athletes and families. We invited the entire community to participate and share in the Olympic and SVSEF ideals of sportsmanship, citizenship, and character. Based on the extremely positive feedback, we will continue to host this event for Wood River Valley residents and visitors alike in years to come.”

SVSEF board member Charlie Dunn with Juli Roos (left) and Lucimari Bridgeman.

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