In support of the U.S. Ski Team athletes departing this week on the Armed Forces Entertainment’s Heavy Medal Tour to visit troops, the athletes’ hometown communities are enacting a Heavy Medal Tour Yellow Ribbon campaign.
The Olympic medalists: Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY), Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO), Brett Camerota (Park City, UT) and Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) and their combined seven Olympic gold and silver medals depart Saturday, April 3 to meet with troops in Southwest Asia.
The first ribbons in support of the Armed Forces Entertainment Heavy Medal Tour will be given out by the athletes to their families during the Hometown Heroes Celebration in Steamboat Springs on Friday, April 2.
The Hometown Heroes Celebration in Steamboat Springs will honor the achievement of the athletes in Vancouver during the Olympic Winter Games and feature a send off for this special trip overseas including the reading of Orders by USAF Colonel Ed Shock, Chief of Armed Forces Entertainment, statements by government officials, and a special note by the Commander of the Colorado Army National Guard.
Similar homecomings were held recently for Demong in New York and for two-dozen Olympians in Park City, UT.
Beginning Monday, April 5, yellow ribbons will be available in various locations in the athletes’ hometowns. Fans in New York’s Adirondack Region can get ribbons at the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce or at the Lake Placid/Essex County Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Ski Team’s Center of Excellence will have ribbons in Park City, UT. Hometown supporters in Steamboat Springs will find ribbons at the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, the Steamboat/Hayden (HDN) Airport, and the Clark Store just outside of Steamboat.
For those interested in receiving yellow ribbons prior to Monday to show their support, the Steamboat/Hayden Airport will be hosting a Heroes “Show Your Support While They’re Gone and Beyond” Party that is free and open to the public from 11:00-11:30 a.m. Saturday April 3. The Olympians will be handing out yellow ribbons and will be available to share their medals and pose for photographs.
One of the biggest stories at the 2010 Olympics was the performance by the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team. Spillane started the two weeks of historic results off with the USA’s first-ever Olympic nordic combined medal, winning silver in the normal hill combined event. Spillane was then joined by teammates Demong, Camerota and veteran Lodwick for the team competition where they came away with a team silver medal. Demong and Spillane then capped off the historic Olympic fortnight with a gold-silver finish in the large hill combined competition.