P.C. blessed with ‘Hometown Heroes’
July 1, 2006
This year’s Fourth of July celebration salutes Park City’s Hometown Heroes and in this town one doesn’t have to look far to find all kinds of bona fide community heroes.
At the head of the parade will be two gold medal athletes. Ted Ligety, born and raised in Park City and on the surrounding mountains, won a gold medal last February in one of the toughest skiing events in the Olympics. His win surprised and delighted the entire state but it was his modest, team-oriented attitude that made his family and friends especially proud.
Stephani Victor is also slated to ride in a place of honor at the head of the parade. The double-amputee is a world champion slalom skier a silver medallist in Super G and a bronze medal downhill sit skier. This year Victor won a gold medal in the women’s Sit Slalom race at the Paralympics in Turin, Italy. But the real measure of Victor’s heroism is found in her commitment to others. Victor turned a potential tragedy into a crusade to experience life to the fullest.
In between international competitions, Victor comes home to Park City to share her energy and enthusiasm with others who have physical hurdles to overcome and her efforts have made an indelible impact on many local families. (Please see Victor’s letter on this page.)
Park City’s heroes though don’t all ski. They volunteer as aides in local classrooms, assist doctors at the People’s Health Center, usher at concerts and stand on street corners as course marshals during bike and running races. They answer the phone in the middle of the night to join in search-and-rescue efforts, answer phones during fundraisers, build low cost housing, teach citizens about recycling and conservation and offer expertise to a variety of nonprofit organizations. Overall, they prop up the town’s shortcomings and patch the gaps in social services.
Officially, the Fourth of July is supposed to be a celebration of the founding of our nation, but as evidenced at parades and town picnics around the country, this holiday is a perfect showcase for the kind of hometown spirit that makes the country as a whole stronger.
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Perhaps this newspaper is a bit biased, but each year during the Fourth of July as Park City’s hometown heroes parade down Main Street, we realize how fortunate our community is, not just in terms of the scenery and lifestyle, but because of the people who have dedicated themselves to making it a better place for all.