Monday, February 13, 2006
Olympian Tommy Schwall of Steamboat Springs doesn't have to worry about winning a ski jumping medal in Pragelato, Italy, this week because he already received a bag full from South Lakewood Elementary School in suburban Denver.
The school's principal, Nancy Sommer, used to live and work in Steamboat, so the school has adopted Schwall and created handmade gold medals made of construction paper and ribbon that say "Go for the Gold." On the back, each student wrote a note of support to the Steamboat Springs jumper. Schwall's sister, Emily, brought the letters with her when she came to Italy on Friday, but her luggage just arrived Monday.
The Lakewood School isn't the only one from Colorado sending support. Strawberry Park Elementary School sent a hand-painted banner signed by the first-grade class. Emily is a severe needs aid at the school and works in the class.
Schwall failed to make the finals during the normal hill competition, which was Sunday in Pragelato.
But he will have two more chances.
Schwall is expected to jump in the large hill competition Friday and in the team event Monday.
This is Schwall's second Olympic Games. He is joined by fellow Steamboat jumper Clint Jones, and longtime teammate Alan Alborn, who also has strong ties to Steamboat Springs. Other members of the U.S. Special Jumping team include Anders Johnson and Jim Denny.
-- John F. Russell/Staff