The history of ski racing in Sun Valley is as rich and as impressive as anyplace in the country. And the future is looking pretty bright, too. It is as if the slopes of Baldy and Dollar were blessed by the ski gods, Ullr and Skadi, to groom the fastest and strongest skiers and snowboarders to ever ride on snow. Sun Valley has been home to the best in the alpine sports scene since shortly after inventing the world’s first chairlift back in the 1930s. It’s a tradition that’s staying strong and is proudly on display as Sun Valley hosts events like last weekend...
Skiing & Riding
Spring sprang on Dollar Mountain with a burst of energy, enthusiasm and joie de vivre as both Idaho’s Special Olympians and aspiring young local ski racers took to the slopes one busy weekend. Beneath bright skies and a warm sun, the fabulous spring ski season arrived in style.
On February 27, Sun Valley welcomed 400 athletes to the Idaho Winter Special Olympic State Games. The high-spirited event, hosted by Sun Valley Resort, Higher Ground of Sun Valley and Wood River High School, was, by all accounts, a huge success. Athletes arrived from all over the state Friday and completed an escorted torch run through the Wood River Valley, stopping at local schools where children cheered the start of the Games. Friday night, the athletes and their families enjoyed dinner, a torch-lighting ceremony and opening ceremonies featuring former Olympian Dick Fosbury.
Hundreds of Idaho Special Olympians were welcomed to town with a police and fire escorted torch run that stopped at local schools including Hemingway Elementary
On Saturday, breakfast was served to more than 600 people in anticipation of the day ahead. Then, more than 300 athletes took to the hardwood at Wood River High School to compete in floor hockey while 100 others traveled to Dollar to race on two separate courses set up on Quarter Dollar. Energy at Dollar was high as athletes registered, received some last-minute coaching and hopped on the lift to check out the course. The cheering and hollering started long before the first racer launched out of the gate. A spirited victory dance and closing ceremonies rounded out the Games on Saturday night.
Alpine skier Grant, his grandmother, local nurse extraordinaire Reggie (left) and Higher Ground Executive Director Kate Weihe are all smiles at the start of the Idaho Winter Games races at Dollar Mountain
The next day, the slopes of Dollar were taken over by hundreds of aspiring ski racers in the annual, highly anticipated Kindercup Race. Sponsored by the local charitable organization, the Papoose Club and in partnership with the Sun Valley Race Department and the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF), this fun event is one of the highlights of the year and this year marked the successful race’s 59th running.
More than 300 children aged 3 – 12 lined up at different start areas on Dollar, ready to ski and snowboard for fun and for glory. Costumes were the name of the game and many children dressed for the day in capes, tutus and funny helmet covers.
Hundreds of local skiers and snowboarders participated in the 59th annual Kindercup Race on a beautiful day on Dollar
For many, the Kindercup is the first race in highly successful skiing careers, In fact, many of Sun Valley’s most notable skiers started on Dollar Mountain at the Kindercup including Olympic gold medal winner Picabo Street and other local famed skiers and riders Langely McNeal, Graham Watanabe and Wyatt Caldwell. Who knows who, in this year’s field, may go on to be a breakout talent?
“The adorable factor of the Kindercup is off the charts,” said Doran Key of the SVSEF Development Team, “and having it be a multi-generational event makes it even more extraordinary. It is the largest kids’ ski event in the valley. It is beyond special.”
The Kindercup Race is a highlight of the season for young competitors aged 3 - 12
Also coming up on Dollar is Kaitlyn Farrington’s highly anticipated “Slumber Party” weekend. From March 13 to 15, the gold medal snowboarder and Sun Valley’s golden girl, along with some of her amazing friends, will inspire 35 girls by riding the terrain park and Superpipe with them and will bond over pizza parties, ice skating and s’mores. Dollar will see some of the best snowboard action of the year when these talented women and girls hit the park.
Two local snowboarders, sisters Zoe and Payton Bacca, can’t wait for the special weekend. Zoe, 11, said “I am so exited to get to ride with Kaitlyn and the girls next weekend because I think it is good to have girls help coach other girls --they understand us better. I am going to Nationals at the end of this month and I also hope Kaitlyn can teach me how to get higher on the pipe.”
Payton, 13, is most looking forward to meeting these amazing snowboarders. “It’s going to be so cool to hang out with so many girls who have done so much in the sport and for the sport of snowboarding,” she said. “Just hanging out with them in a social setting without a lot of people around will be really amazing. I have a friend that I compete with who is coming in from Washington for this and I am looking forward to also meeting new people and maybe getting other girls interested in our sport.”
Kaitlyn Farrington and her friends will help local girls fly in the Superpipe and beyond during her “Slumber Party” weekend
To register, contact Lauren at (208) 622-2189 or email@example.com. The cost is $80 per participant and just a few spots remain.
Spring is the best time of year to enjoy the sunshine, great conditions and mellow feel of skiing or riding on Dollar. Take the lead from the Special Olympians, Kindercup champs and Kaitlyn and her friends and don’t miss a minute!
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