Silverthorne to honor local Olympians April 28
If you go
What: Silverthorne Homecoming Celebration
Where: Silverthorne Recreation Center, 430 Rainbow Drive
When: 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 28
Info: The community celebration will honor Silverthorne’s local athletes who competed at the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. For more, find the town of Silverthorne on Facebook.
Following the professional snowboard season that made several Silverthorne athletes household names, not just in the U.S. but worldwide, the town will officially welcome them back next weekend with a community celebration months in the making.
More details surrounding Silverthorne’s plans to honor a handful of local Olympians and Paralympians were released Thursday, and like the athletes on the slopes, the town aims to go all out and stomp the landing with this one.
The individual athletes to be honored are Olympians Red Gerard, Kyle Mack and Chris Corning, along with Paralympian Jimmy Sides, all of whom are snowboarders with Silverthorne ties, according to the town. Another Paralympian, Amy Purdy, was included in the original lineup of hometown heroes, but she will not be able to attend.
Events will kick off at 10:45 a.m. April 28, starting with a procession along Rainbow Drive, going from from the Outlet’s overflow parking lot, adjacent to the Chipotle restaurant, and continuing to the Silverthorne Recreation Center, where a rally will be held inside the gym.
The procession will feature all the usual suspects, including emergency vehicles from the town and Summit County government, along with children from Silverthorne Elementary riding in a big red bus.
During the rally, spectators will have the opportunity to hear from the athletes themselves before the snowboarders take questions from students attending Silverthorne Elementary. The town’s new mayor, Ann-Marie Sandquist, sworn in earlier this month, also has a role to play.
“I am very excited to be the mayor of Silverthorne and, as one of my first official acts as mayor, to be welcoming our Olympians home and presenting them with a key to the city,” she said. “Our entire community is so proud of all that they have accomplished. Hopefully, our Olympians could hear all of us cheering from Summit County because we were LOUD.”
Partygoers can also expect opportunities to secure autographs and photos with the snowboarders, while the nine-piece band, Homeslice, has been booked and the Summit Concert and Summit High School bands are slated to play patriotic songs.
The ceremony will be emceed by Silverthorne resident and KUSA 9News reporter Matt Renoux, who was in Pyeongchang for the Winter Games when the local athletes brought home the hardware.
Calls for some sort of local celebration began almost immediately after Gerard won the men’s slopestyle competition in South Korea, securing the first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Games for Team U.S.A.
His victory sparked so much local pride that someone put a paper banner over the town’s “Welcome to Silverthorne,” creatively covering up the letters “Silver” with the banner reading, “Gold,” thus giving Silverthorne a new nickname, “Goldthorne.”
The voices calling for a local celebration only grew when Mack won Olympic silver in the men’s big air contest final 13 days behind Gerard’s gold. After that, Sides, a former explosive ordinance disposal technician in the U.S. Marine Corps, finished 14th in the banked slalom and 15th in snowboard-cross at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, held in March.
Because the snowboarders were still competing on the professional circuit after the Olympics, the town decided to hold off on the celebration until the season was over, giving as many of the athletes as possible a chance to partake in the ceremonies, while town staff worked on the details.
The homecoming celebration also comes at a nice moment in Silverthorne’s young history. Incorporated in 1967, the town turned 50 years old last year.
“We really feel like our community has been hungry for this kind of community pride,” said Blair McGary, marketing manager for the town of Silverthorne.
Only 10 years ago, she explained, she’s not sure if any professional athletes would have thought to make Silverthorne home. But that has since changed, and in addition to making names for themselves, the local athletes have helped carve one out for Silverthorne, too.
“This is just a really exciting time in Silverthorne history,” McGary offered. “It’s really about celebrating the athletes in our community and what we’re building together as a community.”
Following the rally at the rec center, the celebration will continue at Angry James and The Bakers’ Brewery in Silverthorne and the Dillon Dam Brewery on the other side of Interstate 70. All three will be hosting “Medalthorne” beer release parties, tapping the first kegs of their three-way collaborative ale, crafted in honor of the local athletes.
For more on the homecoming celebration, find the town of Silverthorne on Facebook.
“We just want (our athletes) to know that they are loved and appreciated and have made us all proud,” Sandquist concluded.
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