Sports anchor Drew Soicher to host Olympic send-off

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What: 2010 Olympic Send-off & Community Celebration

When: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5

Where: Downtown Steamboat Springs

Who: Denver-area sports personality Drew Soicher is scheduled to be master of ceremonies

Things you should know: The event is part of the 97th annual Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival. Spectators should have a Winter Carnival button for the event.

— Denver-area sports personality Drew Soicher will be in Steamboat Springs on Feb. 5 to host the 2010 Olympic Send-off & Community Celebration, Andy Wirth confirmed Wednesday morning.

Wirth, president of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s board of directors and senior vice president of sales and marketing for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., made the announcement Wednesday during a telephone interview.

Soicher, who has been with 9News in Denver since January 2000, will be the master of ceremonies for Steamboat’s planned Olympic bash. He was part of the send-off before the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy, and said he’s excited about being a part of the celebration because Steamboat has left a lasting impression on him.

“Steamboat is my favorite place in Colorado,” Soicher said. “Every time I come up there, I like it even more.”

Soicher said he was impressed that Steamboat has produced more winter Olympians than anywhere else in the world and that he still can’t get over how nice the people are.

Soicher said that struck him the first time he came to Steamboat.

“I thought they had to be phonies,” Soicher said. “They were so nice.”

The sports anchor has returned to Steamboat about 15 times and said he found the people to be just as nice as the first time he came.

“Nobody can be phony for that long,” Soicher said. “I finally realized that the people of Steamboat Springs really are that nice. It’s amazing to me, but nobody ever seems to be in a bad mood.”

The Olympic Send-off & Community Celebration is planned for Feb. 5 adjacent to the Routt County Courthouse in the heart of downtown. The event will include Olympic stars, fireworks and an aerial show produced by former Steamboat Springs Olympian Kris Feddersen.

This year’s celebration will honor past Olympians and the athletes who are headed to Vancouver, British Columbia, including the top stars from the U.S. Nordic Combined and U.S. Freestyle teams.

Wirth said the members of the freestyle team will be in town for a training camp and that a private plane will fly to Park City, Utah, to bring the Nordic combined skiers home for the celebration. The team will leave after the celebration to return to its pre-Olympic training camp in Utah.

Soicher said he is looking forward to coming back this year.

“I’m from a big town, and we just don’t do things like that, “ Soicher said. “It’s really cool.”

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