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Aspen to honor Olympians

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Rustin Gudim/Special to The Aspen TimesGretchen Bleiler, captured here at the recent Winter X Games, will be honored Monday in Aspen along with other local athletes who are headed to the Olympic Games.
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ASPEN – A celebration will take place Monday, Feb. 8 in Aspen to honor seven local athletes headed to the Winter Olympics.

The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. in Gondola Plaza at the base of Aspen Mountain, kicking off with an introduction of the athletes, followed by video highlights of each of them. Each Olympian will also be presented with a gift.

There will be music, as well as free hot chocolate, hot cider and coffee. In addition, according to the Aspen Skiing Co., Ajax Tavern will have a $15 burger and pint special from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

City officials will read a proclamation officially declaring February 2010 as Aspen Olympians’ Month, with individual days dedicated to each athlete.

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“This is a great chance for the community to wish these athletes good luck and let them know that we will all be cheering for them,” said Aspen Mayor Mick Ireland in a press release announcing the event. “This is an amazing group of competitors and we are all proud of their achievements.”

The seven Olympians are:

Jeremy Abbott, Aspen – U.S. Figure Skating Team

Gretchen Bleiler, Snowmass Village- U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team

Simi Hamilton, Aspen – U.S. Cross Country Ski Team

Chris Klug, Aspen – U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team

Alice McKennis, Glenwood Springs – U.S. Alpine Olympic Team, women’s downhill

Casey Puckett, Old Snowmass – U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team, skiercross

Jake Zamansky, Aspen – U.S. Alpine Olympic Team, men’s giant slalom

Bleiler, Klug, McKennis and Puckett will be present at the ceremony; family members are expected to attend to represent the other athletes, who aren’t able to attend.


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