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Life on the Mountain

Six@Sochi aims to get local athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Aug 22, 2011 - 12:29 AM
Six@Sochi aims to get local athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Just because our slopes are currently blanketed with sagebrush and wildflowers instead of snow, doesn’t mean that our epically talented local ski and snowboard athletes have been taking the summer off. On any given day you might see Nordic skiers zooming around on roller skis, freestyle skiers in the South Valley foam pits, snowboarders in the skate park or the alpine racers beating the pants off the other road bikers along Valley roads. Our winter athletes work hard throughout the year, not just when the snow flies. 

And thanks to the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s (SVSEF) Olympic Development Team and their 6@Sochi mission, we all got a chance to celebrate these athletes this past Thursday.Armed with a dunk tank, three bands, several local food and drink vendors, and a “Russian Vodka 101” tent, the 6@Sochi celebration knocked the socks off Ketchum Town Square.

Clockwise: SVSEF junior athlete Gisele, sells raffle tickets. Moe Dixon rocking the house. Coach Doran Key braces herself for the icy waters. ODT Nordic team members greet fans. Nappy Neaman and ODT Nordic Coach Colin Rodgers swap dunk tank stories.

The night started off with local band, Cow Says Moo rocking the house, and continued with ski world favorite, Moe Dixon who wowed athletes and fans alike with his fun music and ukelele skills. The headliners of the night were Safety Orange, a California surf-rock-reggae band who took the 700-plus crowd in Ketchum Town Square dancing into the night. (And took many partiers over to Whiskey Jacques for their second of two sets that evening.)


"Coaches like Rick Kapala, Andy Gilbert, Andy Ware, Scotty McGrew, and Doran Key braved the cold for the cause."

Olympic Development Nordic coach, Colin Rodgers was the first victim in the dunk tank. Rodgers didn’t last much longer than a throw or two but the rest of the dunk tank line-up didn’t stay dry either. Coaches like Rick Kapala, Andy Gilbert, Andy Ware, Scotty McGrew, and Doran Key braved the cold for the cause. Local celebs like Nappy Neaman (who even did a special dunk tank demonstration with his Battle of the Blades partner, Ashley Clark), Muffy Ritz, DJ Lenny Joseph, trainer Kevin Mora, Atkinson’s Whit Atkinson, and Bellevue Mayor Chris Koch jumped in as well. It was hit for kids of all ages as just about everyone was seen exacting some revenge on the sitting ducks in the dunk tank.

The event was a celebration to raise awareness for the Six@Sochi foundation, which aims to have six local Olympic Development team members at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Sochi, Russia.Athletes including Olympian Morgan Arritola and US Freestyle Ski Team-member Shane Cordeau were on hand to meet fans and to talk about their training and efforts. There was even a tent devoted to “Russian Vodka 101” where partygoers got schooled on the Russian culture of toasting and got to sample the national favorite Russian Standard Vodka.

So whether you were there to learn about toasting “Budem!” or to exact sweet dunk tank revenge on a coach, or to dance the night away, it was a night of community and energy. A perfect way to celebrate local athletes.

Clockwise: Muffy Ritz tries her chances at the dunk tank. Heather Flood, Alla Maumus and Michelle Griffith man the Russian Vodka 101 tent. Freestylers and alpiners prove we can all get along. Ketchum Town Square came alive!

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