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Olympic, Paralympic Athletes To Train For Nordic Skiing In Sun Valley

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By Jay Michaels

Sun Valley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Winter sports athletes have been coming to Sun Valley to train for decades now. Last fall, the United States Olympic Committee made their connection to the area official. It's a move that builds a strong foundation for Olympic and Paralympic athletes alike.

Last October, the governing body of the United States Olympic Committee designated the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation as the 15th site in the United States for Olympic and Paralympic Nordic skiing athletes to train.

Don Wiseman, Executive Director of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, says, "The opportunity is to do more, to become known for that, more robust training facilities, opportunities for athletes to live here, and do more year round. It helps to promote the community and what the community's already built."

Sun valley is now one of 15 sites nationwide that support the three US Olympic training centers in Whiteface, New York, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Chula Vista, California. Nordic skiing already contributes a major part to the local economy.

Harry Griffith, Executive Director of Sustain Blaine, says, "Nordic is on the order of $30 to 40 million in terms of annual contribution to the economy, through employment, sales and retail, through the visits that we get, what the visitors spend, sales passes for using the trails."

Sun Valley already has the trail systems, gyms, and coaches for Nordic training. But the Ski Education Foundation is looking for feedback from local community members to see how they want to take Nordic skiing in Sun Valley to the next level.

Wiseman says, "Contact us, there's opportunities to donate monetarily, there's support of in kind, talk to us. We're looking for all sorts of ways to support the athletic dream, the Olympic dream."

You can call the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation at 726-4129, or visit their website at svsef.org . Let them know how you'd like them to improve their program.

Feb. 28, 2013.


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