Spring Bloom benefits all involved at Copper | SummitDaily.com

Spring Bloom benefits all involved at Copper

DEVON O'NEILsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

COPPER MOUNTAIN Its not often an argument breaks out at a celebrity ski race, but thats exactly what happened Saturday at the inaugural Spring Bloom.The event, a fundraiser for Special Olympics Colorado that was hosted by World Cup moguls champion Jeremy Bloom at Copper Mountain, paired superstar skiers like the host with Denver celebrities and Special Olympians from around the state.One of the two sides in the argument belonged to the Special Olympians, and the other was shared by the rest of the competitors. The point of contention: Who benefited more from the days interactions.One by one, they went back and forth, the Special Olympians arguing that nothing topped meeting and skiing with the celebrity athletes; and the invited stars contending they were on the receiving end, certainly not the giving.Theyre really awesome, said Special Olympian Erin Holloway, 44, of Bennett. Just getting to meet some of them …Oh no, I dont feel like Ive given them anything, countered Jeret Speedy Peterson, the best aerials skier in the world. Im excited to get to meet them and see how happy they are just about life in general. To them, its not about who has the coolest stuff, who has the Louis Vuitton purse. They dont care. Theyre after who has the most fun, who can give the biggest bear hug.The jury is still out on the bear hug competition, but a select few racers enjoyed that winning feeling on the slopes of Copperopolis NASTAR course. Team Summit alumnus and current U.S. Ski Team moguls star David Babic led his three-person relay team to victory, teaming up with Special Olympian Jeff Gregory and Denver disc jockey Darrin McKee to edge the team led by former U.S. Ski Team dual moguls untouchable Garth Hager.Not surprisingly, Babic directed all credit toward Gregory and Gregory bounced it back Babics way.Blooms trio was disqualified when Bloom missed a gate, not that it dampered the day for any of the parties involved. The former University of Colorado football star was in high demand from start to finish, obliging what seemed like hundreds of autograph and photograph requests from spectators, and spending as much time with the Special Olympians as possible.For many of those with disabilities, simply standing next to the world-renowned multisport athlete was a thrill.Jack Therkildsen, father of 26-year-old Eric, who competed on moguls star Michelle Roarks team, said his son almost couldnt contain himself on the drive to Copper.He knew Jeremy Bloom from CU football, but he didnt realize that Jeremy was a skier as well, Jack said. All week he couldnt wait to get here. In the car this morning, he was just bouncing around with excitement.It still wasnt enough to convince Bloom who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Saturday that he was more a provider of joy than a recipient.Oh, its us, for sure, he said when asked who benefited more. They dont care about who wins, about success … I love their priorities.Among the local celebrities, most of whom hailed from Denver, former skiercross world champion Darian Boyle took advantage of an enormous talent disparity between herself and the rest of the field to win the head-to-head, single-elimination competition.She beat former Denver Broncos star Leroy Mitchell in the final by a comfortable margin after giving him a two-gate head start at the top. As the announcer on the loudspeaker put it, She reeled him in like a little, old fish.In the Olympians head-to-head competition, 1998 Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley took care of business to win his first competition of any kind since a 2002 World Cup moguls victory. He beat Hager in the final.As for the argument that broke out during the day, Boyle took care of it with a bit of the diplomacy shes learned as a Fox Sports Net correspondent.They enjoy being with us, and we enjoy being with them, she said. There should be more events like this.Devon ONeil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.

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