TORINO ADVANCES NATIVE AMERICAN OLYMPIC BID
Send 2 Press Article April 2, 2006
Sports Features Communications Article April 5, 2006
"Thanks to the warm welcoming by humanitarian sports leaders, sponsors, and Olympic leaders at Torino, there is a realistic chance that our Native youth will be able to shine in the China and Vancouver Olympics as athletes," said Stew Young (Tulalip "Orca" Tribe), member of the Native American Ski Team. The World Cup Speed Skier was chosen by President Joe Garcia of the National Congress of American Indians,
and Woody Vaspra (Hawaiian), World Council of Elders President, to represent Indian Country in Italy. "It was thanks to Stew's inspiring French Princess Caroline Murat (via Napoleon) to rally support for this Olympic Dream at her 'Ski & Music Festival' in Veysonnaz (Switzerland) last February," according to Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee, co-chair of Native Voices Foundation (NVF).
Standing next to his magestic teepee atop the Alps, Veysonnaz owner Jean Marie Fournier, then announced on Swiss TV, "We want to be a Training Center for the Native American Ski Team."
"Rob Stull, director of Torino's wonderful Visa Olympic Alumni Hospitality Center, gave us some priceless advice on how to approach the IOC after learning that American Indian Nations have unique sovereignty: A government to government relationship proven by Iroquois passports, Alaska Nations are geographically more remote than Guam (U.S. Territory), and tribes participated in 1904's Olympics. " Through Suzy so many doors opened at the Olympic Center to help with this effort. I thank President Garcia and Woody, who believe the youth are our future, for including me in this historic opportunity for them," said Young.
"What timing, humanitarian groups want to help, like Atlanta's DITC, founded by Monaco's Prince Albert (Lakota adoptee) and Dr. Marc Gutekunst, to assist lowest financial peoples, like Africans, get coaching. The IOC Museum's "Roots of Sport" honors Eskimos/Inuits for Kayaking, and
Steve R. Allen, the Official Olympic Artist, wants to paint the 'Gifts of the First Americans to 10 Olympic Sports," said Chaffee. "We bless IOC President Jacques Rogge's vision to include Indigenous Peoples in the Olympics to enhance their sustainability, given our track record of always honoring the Earth to ensure survivability for all," said Vaspra.
Meanwhile, the First Nations of Canada cracked the ice and made a splash at the Torino Closing Ceremonies and fashion show at their popular 2010 Vancouver/BC House, a rustic North American log cabin jewel in the crown of Classic Torino. Dorothy Grant's Haida "works of Art" wowed guests. Canadian Hockey Team's Wayne Redden was the sole North American Native competing in Torino.
At Young and Chaffee's IOC follow-up meeting in Lausanne, when Andrew Hofar learned that Vancouver leaders, sponsors, and "Euro heavyweights," like IOC's Prince Albert and Princess Alexandre de Belgique, are pushing to include an American Indian Olympic Team, Hofar graciously coached the Native delegation on the best way to slalom through the Bid process. Wanting to restore the health and joy of Native youth, Princess Alexandre said: "I support this from the bottom of my heart."
"5,000 of our best summer athletes will be competing at Colorado's North American Indigenous Games (naig.com) July 2-9," said Young. "And President Garcia and Matthew Box, (Southern Ute Nation Host), are inviting President Rogge and DITC's Team to come check out our amazing talent and cultural festival.
"Telluride-Texans Kit and Calvert Collins were MVP's at Torino, after assisting 16 year old Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (Yu'pik Eskimo) place 6th in boardercross in the 2006 Junior Worlds in Korea," said Chaffee. "It's time American Indians get some breaks," said Calvert.
"And they will truly enhance the Games," said Billy Kidd (Abenaki), Native American Ski & Snowboard Captain (www.snow-riders.org), first American male to medal in Alpine skiing. Kidd serves on the NVF Board, Colorado's 501C3 partnership of Tribal leaders, Elders, ski communities, Royals and Olympians, to preserve Nature's playgrounds for future generations.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 323-493 3877
Opening doors to Olympic Tribal dreams at Visa's Olympic Alumni Center in Torino. (L-R) Humanitarian Sport leader, Dr. Marc Gutekunst with Native American Ski Team's Stew Young, representing Indian Country, Steve Allen, Olympic painter, and Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee, Olympic Bid co-organizer, gifting Geronimo T-shirts.
Steve Allen in front of his painting "Spirit of the Games".
To the right an enlargement of that wonderful painting.