Winter Carnival 2017: Anderson, Olson, Terranova to represent SSWSC as carnival royalty | SteamboatToday.com

Winter Carnival 2017: Anderson, Olson, Terranova to represent SSWSC as carnival royalty

Julia Ben-Asher/For Steamboat Today

This year's Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival royalty includes queen Margaret Anderson, left, Taylor Olson, middle, and Anna Terranova, right.

— As a kid, Meg Anderson loved participating in Winter Carnival's donkey jump. For the past several winters, she's been a participant in the Night Extravaganza, but this year, she's looking forward to watching the event as the Carnival queen.

Alpine skier Taylor Olson once was a Winter Carnival princess, waving at the good people of Steamboat from her float. A few years later, she marked the February events by skiing down Howelsen Hill with her teammates, lighting the way with flares.

Years ago, Nordic skier Anna Terranova would always be half of a three-legged-race team. More recently, she and her team have participated in the Winter Carnival by doing some early-morning ski sprints along snow-covered Lincoln Avenue.

This year, the three Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes will celebrate the carnival in a tradition older than most can remember.

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, the Winter Carnival’s opening ceremonies will celebrate the queen, her court of attendants, the little princesses and the grand marshals at Olympian Hall of Howelsen Hill.

The royal court will also be honored during the Night Extravaganza Saturday, Feb. 11, which also features flares-carrying Winter Sports Club athletes, the famous Lighted Man and one of the largest fireworks displays in the nation.

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Finally, on Sunday, Feb. 12, carnival royalty will greet Steamboat from a grand parade float during the Diamond Hitch Parade.

"Nominations (for Winter Carnival royalty) are based on good moral character, strong academics, representing the club in a positive manner and being good teammates and good sports, not just athletic skill,” said Sarah Floyd, associate executive director of the Winter Sports Club.

Each member of the royal court was selected because she's displayed those qualities and positively represented the club. First, an athlete is nominated by her coach — the two have generally worked together for years — then, all the nominations are gathered into a hat, the queen and then her attendants drawn randomly.

All three are top students and are known for their sportsmanship.

Terranova, a junior attendant, has been with the club for nearly a decade.

"She's cheerful and looks past her own struggles," said Terranova's coach Brian Tate. "She's just a really funny, bubbly personality who really puts her heart and soul into the sport."

Olson has been Alpine skiing with the program since she was about 3.

"I'm excited to try to be a leader and inspire littler kids," Olson said.

"Taylor's one of the hardest-working people out there," said coach Andrew Keating. "Her teammates are fueled off of that."

Anderson has been part of the club since she was a toddler, Floyd said. Anderson began as an Alpine skier before switching to Nordic two years ago.

"I kind of reached a place in my Alpine skiing where I was ready to try something new and exciting," Anderson said.

"She took a chance and jumped right in," said Anderson's coach Josh Smullin. "She swallowed her pride and was open to learning, and she's come quite a long way in the past year."

Smullin noted he thinks Anderson has a very good chance of qualifying for Junior Nationals this year.

Most importantly, it's the person Anderson is that got her to her throne.

"She shows up, and she works hard," Smullin said. "She's a competitive person but a supportive teammate. She brings a sense of humor to her team."

"I'm definitely looking forward to representing the club and the community that's shaped the person I am," Anderson said, "especially being able to be part of the Winter Carnival my last year before I go to college and really embrace my last Winter Carnival as a member of the Winter Sports Club."