Editorial: Pulling for the red, white and Tahoe blue | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Editorial: Pulling for the red, white and Tahoe blue

Bring on the Winter Games.From Lake Tahoe’s perspective, the Olympics have never looked better and brighter.

Eleven – that’s right – 11 athletes from the area will compete in the two-week celebration, starting today in Torino, Italy. Historically, the area is fortunate to have several athletes competing in the Games.

The touching part of having a long list of Olympians from such a small area is that these athletes have become “real” human beings to residents. They are much more than recognizable faces. They are active in their communities, giving back to the next generation of snowboarders and skiers.

Some of them have worked at ski shops and driven Sno-Cats.

They have touched the lives of many of the people who live here with their generosity or sharing a few minutes of their precious time.

Because of their strong ties to the area, they make everyone from a first-year snowboarder to a 40-year passholder proud of them.

And judging from their competitive history, this super collection of athletes won’t be in Italy just to say they were part of the Winter Games. More than half of the Olympic representatives from Lake Tahoe have legitimate shots at gold medals, and the silver medal that Tahoe City’s Shannon Bahrke won at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games could be surpassed after the first few days of competition.

Daron Rahlves and Julia Mancuso are gold medal threats in multiple Alpine events, former World Cup moguls champion Travis Cabral could deliver gold on the bumps, podium regulars Elena Hight and Hannah Teter are bonafide gold medal contenders in halfpipe and Nate Holland has been tearing up the World Cup boardercross circuit all season.

At the same time, don’t count out Bahrke, Marco Sullivan and Andy Finch either. They have responded in big events before and surprises are what make the Olympics so interesting. Skier Stacey Cook is making her first Olympic appearance, as is snowboarder Jayson Hale. Certainly they long for more out of these Games than to say they participated.

Isn’t it fitting that 46 years after the Winter Games were first held in the United States in nearby Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe has its largest collection of athletes in the Games?

It’s a great time to say you are from Tahoe.

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