Locals ready to welcome home Olympians
March 5, 2014
Several South Shore businesses are planning to give three local Olympians a warm welcome during a citywide celebration March 15.
Some café owners have already hung street-side banners and congratulatory signs on windows to recognize the accomplishments of Maddie Bowman, Jamie Anderson and Hannah Teter.
But soon, they'll have a chance to congratulate the women firsthand.
"We are so stoked," said Billy Ramsey, owner of Meyers Downtown Café. "Not only are they great athletes, they are great people, and they represent our community so well."
A welcome home bash planned for the Olympians will consist of a parade, followed by festivities.
The procession will involve taking the athletes via fire truck from South Lake Tahoe High School onto Highway 50, past the airport and through the town of Meyers. It will conclude at Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort, where a party for the Olympians will ensue.
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Anderson and Bowman won their first Olympic gold medals this year for snowboarding slopestyle and freeskiing halfpipe respectively. Teter, a 2006 Olympic gold medalist, placed fourth in snowboarding halfpipe.
Ramsey said he will be waving flags and cheering the Olympians on when they pass his café. The business owner has known Anderson for a long time, and still remembers her visits to the restaurant.
"She used to come over and bat those beautiful eyes and ask for hot chocolate," he said.
It seems each business will be doing something a little different to show their support during the celebration.
Bert's Café manager Tracy Ketelsen said the restaurant she works for plans on decorating the street-side windows for the procession.
The Getaway Café, on the other hand, will likely offer beer and appetizer specials, said manager Amber Pass. The restaurant will also be sporting their red, white and blue colors — as well as a little gold.
"It's definitely created a good energy and good buzz here in Meyers," she said.
Apparently, the Olympians have also inspired officials at the City of South Lake Tahoe.
The city has announced its intentions to place some sort of public art or metal structure — along with the names of certain renowned South Shore athletes — at a proposed plaza near Lakeview Commons.
The plaza, which is already planned for construction as part of the Harrison Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project, would be named Champions Plaza and serve as a spot to recognize local athletes for their national and international accomplishments, City Manager Nancy Kerry said.
The next step toward making it happen will consist of reaching out to the art community for ideas on the monument, she said.
For more details on the welcoming home event for the Olympians, including times, go to http://www.sierraattahoe.com.