After a marathon week watching high-dive splashes and balance beam routines on TV, Boise got a live taste of Olympic glory when the city held a birthday celebration for homegrown two-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong Aug. 11. Festivities kicked off at the Boise Depot, where hundreds of cyclists joined Armstrong in a ride down Capitol Boulevard.
"Armstrong showed up in her red, white and blue Team USA racing jersey and shorts, missing only the aerodynamic helmet and expensive bike," observed Boise Weekly's Andrew Crisp. "Instead, she towed her son behind her from the depot to the Capitol in an attached bike trailer, her husband trailing not far behind."
Throngs gathered at Capitol Park for a presentation with Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and first lady Lori Otter, which was followed by birthday cake and chocolate milk.
Another group of world champion athletes convened Aug. 11 in Emmett, but they had nothing to do with the Olympics. The Toadstool Billiard Cafe hosted the Beat the Champ arm-wrestling challenge, where U.S. National Champion John LaVergne demonstrated his steely grip to raise funds for the upcoming world championships in Brazil.
"LaVergne has a very disarming personality, especially for an arm-wrestler. He welcomed opponents at his fundraiser, shook hands with all of them and spent time teaching the finer points of the sport he adores," noted BW's Sheree Whiteley.
Moving from freakishly strong to freakishly talented, last week, more than 100 artists contributed 76 new murals to Freak Alley Gallery on Eighth to Ninth streets in between Idaho and Bannock streets downtown.
"Many of this year's murals were painted over existing murals from last year's project, and others have incorporated the existing murals beneath into the new ones layered on top, such as a new painting of Boise State's Coach Chris Petersen bursting through the existing mural of reggae legend Bob Marley," explained BW's Josh Gross.
Colby Akers, who curates the space, said he eventually hopes to maintain the murals for two-year stretches and expand the gallery to neighboring walls, as the building owners will allow.
Another group of artistic freaks were on display Aug. 10 at The Shredder. About 100 people crowded into the nondescript 10th Street warehouse to check out Super Happy Funtime Burlesque, a live-music, satirical performance troupe.
The Poorly Timed X-mas Special follows "Joe the Cabdriver after he kills Santa in a drug-induced sex rage. Joe then takes over Santa's gig and travels around the world encountering all sorts of mischief and mayhem. Oh, and a lot of skin, starting with a bikini-clad Rudolph who must be broken into submission before she will fulfill her duties," explained BW freelancer Mika Belle.
At the show, local burlesque performer Lady Bomb DeLuxe said: "I try to always support this artform, and I think Boise should be more supportive of nontraditional art."