Susan Mizen: Thank you for helping to create a champion

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In 1962, Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded Special Olympics because she knew sports unite people.

Steamboat has a history of not only producing Olympians but embracing Special Olympics. We hosted and volunteered for the games in 1977 and 1992. Coming together in sport is one of Steamboat’s many strengths.

Sue White is Steamboat’s first-ever Special Olympics World Games athlete. With her Austrian flag in Olympian Hall, she is prominently honored among the rest of Steamboat’s 88 Olympic athletes. Just like every one of them, Sue broke through barriers, and she didn’t do it alone.

Monday’s community celebration was planned by Horizons, Alpine Bank, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, the city of Steamboat Springs, City Market, Steamboat Springs City Council, Steamboat Chamber and Resort Association, Steamboat Springs Police Department, STARS and the Routt County commissioners.

Last fall, Adonna Allen and Alpine Bank planted the seed by asking to sponsor Sue’s Olympian flag. In February, the Winter Sports Club honored Sue as part of the 104th Winter Carnival’s Night Extravaganza — what a memorable send-off.

Not all communities have evolved the way Steamboat has. Hundreds of people came to congratulate Sue Monday night. When Sue perfectly recited the Special Olympics oath “let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,” there weren’t many dry eyes in Olympian Hall.

We have created a community that reflects our values. Thank you Steamboat for seeing people for their potential, respecting them for their contributions and celebrating them for their achievements. Thank you for helping to create a champion.

Susan Mizen

Horizons executive director

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