Steamboat to welcome Olympians

— Delayed by more than a month, the Welcome Home Olympian Celebration is coming to Steamboat Springs next week.

The party is scheduled to take place at the Romick Rodeo Arena on Wednesday night immediately following the conclusion of the Chevy Truck U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club announced Friday.

At least 11 local Olympians will be there along with about 90 other U.S. athletes from all over the country who will compete in the ski jumping and Nordic combined championships.

"The Welcome Home Olympian Celebration is a great opportunity to cap off our community's pride in our athletes' performance at the games," said Kathi Meyer, the co-chair of the U.S. championships.

Afterwards, the athletes will go to Olympian Hall to sign autographs.

The event will also serve as a forum for the members of the Colorado Ski Heritage committee to discuss their attempts to upgrade the ski jumps at Howelsen Hill. The ski heritage project is in the running for $1.2 million in state money to pay for plastic jumps so ski jumpers can train year-round.

The 16 Olympians who represented Steamboat were sent off to Salt Lake City at a gala celebration on Lincoln Avenue on Feb. 2. At that celebration, an Olympic cauldron built by the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. was lit.

The cauldron remained lit throughout the Olympics and was extinguished shortly after the games ended.

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