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Shelley Osterloh ReportingSome Olympic athletes are teaming up to raise money for younger athletes who hope someday to follow their Olympic dreams. It’s a chance for the public to support Utah youth, see some Olympic stars in the making, and be entertained by the pros.
The US freestyle aerial team is hitting the splash pool at the Utah Olympic Park this week in its first training camp of the summer. Among them is Emily Cook, the star jumper who missed the 2002 Olympics when she broke both her feet just weeks before the games. Now after two surgeries and two and half years of rehab, she is back testing the waters and her feet.
Emily Cook, Freestyle Aerialist: "It’s going really well, I’m feeling great. My foot's feeling really good, getting strong, getting back to training, and feeling really happy about it for sure."
While her body healed, Cook has been mentoring and coaching young athletes. Along with other members of the US Freestyle team, like gold medalist Eric Bergoust and Silver medalist Joe Pack, Cook will be on hand for Saturday's fund-raiser for the Utah Youth Winter Sports Alliance
Currently, there are at least 500 young athletes in 10 different winter sport programs partially funded by the Youth Winter Sports Alliance.
Emily Cook: "We are gong to have a huge show with the flying ace productions athletes. Eric Bergoust will be here, Joe Pack, Ricky Bower, Olympic medalists, Olympians, Jeret Peterson – it’s going to be a really huge, really fun event."
The event -- called Launch into Summer-- includes the show, dinner, prizes, live music, a huck fest competition for new comers and a chance to meet the athletes. Olympian Jeret Peterson says aerials are as fun to do as they are to watch.
Jeret Peterson, Olympian: "There is nothing greater than launching 55 feet up in the air doing three flips and four or five twists."
Launch into Summer begins Saturday at 5:30 at the Utah Olympic Park. Tickets are $50 for adults, $25 for kids and money goes to help young winter sport athletes.
For more tickets or more information, call the Youth Winter Sports Alliance at 435-901-3715.