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Competition Time

Special Olympics still needs volunteers


We do love whitewater in Idaho, and it's too bad the opportunities to take advantage of it have been limited so far this summer because of high water. Even operations at the Barber Park put-in for the popular float of the Boise River have yet to open because flows are nearly three times higher than the safe floating level of 1,500 cfs.

Unfortunately, that means the organizers of a new festival celebrating Idaho's whitewater--the Boise White Water Festival--are scrambling. Events previously scheduled for Saturday, July 16, have been canceled, including the Boise River race from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park, as well as a concert and beer garden.

The good news is that events scheduled for Sunday, July 17, are moving forward, with just one slight modification: The U.S. Boater Cross Association Payette River Boater Cross Race will be held at the Banks put-in on the North Fork of the Payette. Registration begins at 9 a.m., with stand-up paddle boards starting at 10 a.m. The expert boater cross category--limited to Class V paddlers only--takes off at noon.

High water levels on the Payette have forced another change as well--the stand-up paddle board course will run to Bikini Beach, while rafters will race to Bee Hive, rather than the railroad bridge.

Awards will follow the race, and the Jackson kayak raffle that had been scheduled for Saturday will also be moved to Sunday.

Registration is $25 for the boater cross race. Racers can register in advance online or pay an extra $5 to register the day of the race.

For more info or to register to race, visit

The competition will be just as exciting at the Special Olympics Idaho State Summer Games. Special Olympians from across the state will gather for opening ceremonies beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 15, at Hawks Memorial Stadium.

Athletic competitions will begin on Saturday, July 16, at locations across the valley, with closing ceremonies later that night. Competitors will take part in a variety of events, including swimming, basketball, track, powerlifting and cycling.

All events are free and the public is welcome to attend and support the competitors. But if you want to do more than cheer, volunteers are still needed to help out. For a full schedule and locations, as well as info on how to volunteer, visit