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Unfortunately, the Send-off to Sochi turned out to be a non-event — just a medal ceremony for the ski jumping and nordic combined winners. When ORDA announced it, I thought it would be like the one four years ago, in October 2009 in Mid's Park, which was a big community gathering with Olympic hopefuls signing autographs. Maybe something like that can be arranged later this fall.
-Peter Crowley, managing editor
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A correction to my last comment is in order. ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin tells me athletes from luge, bobsled, skeleton, ski jumping and biathlon did sign autographs, pose for pictures and talk with visitors to the Flaming Leaves Festival from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., and that they gathered onstage for introductions just before the 4 p.m. medals ceremony. It was all over by the time I got there at 4:15, and our sports writer Lou Reuter, who had been there for it, told me there hadn’t been much to it. Jon said the send-off was the same program as was used four years ago, except for the location. I think the fact that you had to pay to get in — $16 for adults and $10 for juniors and seniors for one day — is a significant difference that diminished from the community aspect, but Jon told me the crowd was larger for this event than the free one four years ago.
One thing is for sure: The send-off was clearly more real than I had realized.
—Peter Crowley, managing editor
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