When organizers announced they were bringing the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games to Idaho with only a few years to prepare, they got more than a few raised eyebrows. But come last February, thousands of athletes, support teams, families and fans from around the world arrived in Idaho for a weeklong celebration of far more than athletics. The streets of Boise, Sun Valley and McCall were filled with a multitude of languages while cultures came together to share and celebrate. One of the most noticeable features of all the athletes and visitors was their smiles. Everyone seemed so happy, it was hard not to get wrapped up in the celebration. Special Olympics organizers in Idaho managed to pull off not only a successful world games, but the tourism goal of all time: showing the world the beauty of Idaho, both in landscape and its people. Besides, it was a much needed mid-winter mood booster for all of us.
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