Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club recognizes World Champions

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— The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club will kick off the holiday week Tuesday by celebrating the achievements of some of this country’s top winter sports stars and Olympic prospects.

Last winter, a record six athletes brought home world championships medals and another earned a world junior championship medal. Those athletes will step into the spot light during a special ceremony at 5 p.m. Tuesday on the jump flats at Howelsen Hill.

Among the athletes being honored are snowboarder Arielle Gold who capped off her most successful season with a World Championship gold medal in the half-pipe last winter. She will be joined by freestyle skier Patrick Deneen, who won bronze in men’s single moguls and another in dual moguls; Alpine snowboarder Justin Reiter, who collected a silver medal the men’s parallel slalom race; former SSWSC teammate Vic Wild, who won the bronze in men’s parallel giant slalom; and Nordic combined skiers Taylor Fletcher, Bryan Fletcher, Todd Lodwick and Bill Demong, who also brought home bronze medals in the Nordic combined team event at the World Championships. The final medal came from the Junior World Championships where Madi McKinstry earned a bronze medal at the World Telemark Championships.

“Having an athlete achieve at this level on the world stage is phenomenal," said Rick DeVos, executive director of the Winter Sports Club. “However, to have nine SSWSC athletes on the World Championships podium across a variety of disciplines in one year is unprecedented and a true testament to the club, its coaches and this supportive community.”

DeVos said the world championships will be on hand for the hour-long celebration and will be honored on stage during the ceremony, which will take place prior to a fundraiser for the National Nordic Foundation on Tuesday night.

The celebration will be a chance for the community to come out and see many of the athletes that are expected to represent our country at the Sochi Olympic Games in February.

“With the 2014 Olympic Games on the horizon, these efforts show that club athletes are on the road to continued success,” DeVos said.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com

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