Yesterday we drove the two hours over to Boise for the Idaho Walk to London event. It was a brisk and breezy rocky mountain spring day, about 60 with occasional sun peaking through the clouds.
The Walk to London is a United States Olympians initiative, with the miles being added to make the distance from Los Angeles to London. As President of the Idaho Chapter of the US Olympians, I worked with Melanie Simboli who was really instrumental in the organization of this event. Melanie won a gold medal in Freestyle Skiing in 1988. She did an outstanding job of putting our Walk to London together.
The Idaho Olympians' Walk to London event was fortunate in partnering with the Exergy Tour, a series of road races for Professional Women's Cylcing teams from 8 countries. We also had St. Luke's hospital helping to organize and provide medical back up just in case! The plan was to walk from a park along the river to the Boise Town Square about a mile, to join the Exergy Tour's opening ceremonies and VIP hospitality for the athletes.
We picked up the mayor's proclamation and drove to the starting point in the Esther Simplot park on the River.
A sizable crowd gathered, Melanie provided tee shirts for everybody and I handed out red Team USA hats to the Olympians. Melanie had organized Olympic Trivia stations along the route, and had the flags of the countries participating in the Tour for everybody to wave. I especially enjoyed walking through the Anne Frank Memorial, a beautifully designed space for contemplation and readings along the Boise River behind the Boise Library.
When we arrived at the destination, we were ushered into the Boise Town Square by a group of bagpipers, the Highlanders. That was really fun and LOUD! There were about 15 Olympians competing at the Tour, including Idaho's Beijing Olympic Champion Kristin Armstrong. Olympians participating in the walk included Luther Jones (Rowing, 68, 72), 5 time Paralympian & Gold Medalist Barb Buchan (Track), and Inga Thompson (Cycling, 84, 88, 92).
Governor Butch Otter chatted with me about team roping and welcomed the athletes to the state. The Mayor of Boise spoke as well, but most
importantly the sun came out on what was really an inspirational day.