Youngsters salute U.S. Ski Team
BEAVER CREEK ” Andrew Romero gazed up at U.S. Ski Team member Steven Nyman as he showed the crowd under the tent at Beaver Creek Thursday his award-winning poster, and wished the team good luck at the Olympics.
And what did the 11-year-old have to say to the crowd?
“USA. USA,” he said meekly.
The Vail Valley Foundation, in conjunction with radio station KZYR, asked kids in two age categories ” seven to nine and 10 to 12 ” to design posters wishing the U.S. Ski Team good luck at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy in February.
The objective was to get kids interested in downhill racing and involved with the ski teams, KZYR employee Gabrie Higbie said.
“It’s a big deal for the kids to meet the ski team,” Higbie said.
Romero and 9-year-old Valentina Virion, both students of Vail’s Red Sandstone Elementary School, appeared smitten as they presented their posters to the ski team.
Virion stood behind her drawing of mountains ” which she named Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves and topped with flags from many countries. She also drew a skier navigating race gates.
“It was pretty hard but it was for a good use,” Virion said.
Nyman shook Romero’s shoulders in congratulations. The two first-place winners get a pizza party and a copy of their poster autographed by members of the ski team.
Romero, who drew a ski jumper below Olympic rings with the words “Good Luck in Torino, Italy,” had already picked which friends he’ll invite to his pizza party.
“Drawing the drawing was easy because I’m sort of a good artist,” Romero said.
The ski team likely will hang the posters in their wax room for inspiration, Nyman said.
“It’s cool the kids are putting forth the effort,” Nyman said. “The Vail Valley and community are really supporting us, which is a hard part about ski racing in the United States.”
Judges had more than 200 entries to choose from in the poster contest.
“I was amazed at the artistic talent of the participants,” said judge Bill Jensen, the chief operating office of Vail Mountain. “It was difficult to select the award winners in each category.”
Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or email@example.com.