Saturday, February 2, 2013

Special Olympics Film Screened at Chamber Meeting

Kari Greer, left, and Saandra Steinfelt
   Filmmaker Saandra Steinfelt, who documented the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games through the lens of Horseshoe Bend, screened the film, SPECIAL OLYMPICS 2009: Humanity and Heart in Boise County, at the January 17 meeting of the Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce, in Crouch Community Hall. 

  Capturing everything from the torch run to the events to the interactions between athletes and local fans, the film also features impressive slide-show stills of the Special Olympics athletes and locals in Crouch and Garden Valley, which were shot by local professional photographer, Kari Greer. The reception dinner, Tubing Hill fun and the Idaho World articles written by Anjali Angel were included in the stills. The documentary was accepted by the Cannes Film Festival, Short Film Corner 2009.

  Steinfelt says the film was a research project for her studies at Boise State University: “At BSU, people loved the film so much they cried. I’d heard about the torch run and had two days to get permission from Horseshoe Bend School and Mayor Hanson. I got a rag-tag crew together—it was really a gorilla effort!” The filmmaker says the film was not in competition at Cannes, but in the marketplace.

  This documentation of the Special Olympics athletes is dear to Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce members who, under past president, Greg Simione, worked hard for Garden Valley to be chosen as a host city for the delegates from San Marino and Indonesia. The athletes competed in both snowshoe and cross-country skiing and went through their practice sessions here in the valley.

   The enthusiastic delegates and their coaches arrived on February 4, 2009, and departed the morning of February 7, having captivated the hearts of many Garden Valley residents. Cabin Keepers was involved as a sponsor, to help provide lodging, and the Syringa Club hosted the athletes’ reception and dinner at the LDS church. Many community members volunteered to help with several aspects of the delegates’ visit.

  It was an exciting opportunity to meet these special athletes, watch them practice and then follow them in competition. As current Chamber president, Diane Caughlin, says, “It was heartbreaking to see them go…it was like watching my children leave again. I can’t believe it was four years ago.”

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