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Birds of Prey fans travel from all over to Beaver Creek

BOP Bode Fans DT 12-3-10
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BEAVER CREEK – The Birds of Prey downhill race was on a weather delay Friday afternoon and eventually cancelled, but that didn’t stop fans from celebrating the event while waiting in the stands.

Five teenage boys from Vermont, who each painted letters and an exclamation point across their chests to spell “Bode!,” were standing by for an update on the new start time around noon. They were talking about their favorite ski racer and were hoping to see him race as long as weather didn’t cancel the race.

The boys attend Stratton Mountain Ski Academy in Vermont and are in town because they’re training at Copper Mountain.



It’s no surprise why they chose Bode Miller as their favorite ski racer to cheer on for the day.

“Bode’s awesome – he’s a legend,” said Holland Doshier, who is sporting the exclamation point on his chest.



Kazui Kusumi, who is wearing the letter “B” on his chest, said Miller is an easy ski racer to admire because he sets so many examples that young skiers hope to follow.

“So many ski racers get hurt and it’s career-ending, but Bode bounced right back and won a World Cup,” Kusumi said. “His will and mind is really strong.”

Brendan O’Keefe, with a “D” painted on his chest, said watching Miller is like watching Michael Jordan. He’s the best of the best in his sport, O’Keefe said.



Fans dispersed during the delay, which was two-and-a-half hours before the race was called.

Some spectators hopped on the Birds of Prey Express lift and took some runs, while others piled into the Red Tail Camp bar and eating areas to have lunch.

The die-hard fans, people like Rick Sievers and Errol Belden, were still in the spectator viewing area hooting and hollering as if the races had already begun, though.

“We’re partying hard,” Sievers said.

The guys are part of the official Marco Sullivan, of the U.S. Ski Team, fan team. Sullivan’s sister got the group together to come to the one World Cup race in the United States in order to cheer him on, Belden said.

“We’ve been doing this for years,” Belden said.

Sullivan’s fans traveled from Boston, Jackson, Wyo., and Lake Tahoe to watch him race.

“We do it mostly for the emotional support (for Sullivan),” Sievers said.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at lglendenning@vaildaily.com.


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