Gold medalist brings 'surge of energy' to Sun Valley

KETCHUM, Idaho (KBOI) - Idaho's gold medalist received the champion's treatment Saturday afternoon in Sun Valley.

Hundreds of people showed up to congratulate snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington on her gold medal run in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Saturday's event wrapped up a week full of celebrations in Sun Valley, where the community has rallied around their new Olympian.

The celebration began with a parade of sorts. It took place on a ski slope, and Kaitlyn Farrington came down on a snowboard at the end with an American flag in hand. But it's clear that she brought home more than just a gold medal.

"What Kaitlyn's brought back is this surge of energy," Hailey resident Nappy Neamen said. "Everybody's feeling great about this whole thing."

Farrington nabbed the gold medal in the snowboard ladies' halfpipe.

"It's amazing how many people came out today to celebrate me, and I am just so thankful for it all," she said.

The excitement was evident in Sun Valley. One man painted his toenails gold, and another called it a "magical week" for the area. At a ceremony, politicians and others congratulated the 24-year-old with both words and gifts.

"I think that she's a great role model and her story is so inspiring, and I just hope everybody could be like her in a way," 11-year-old Hailey resident Brooklyn Williamson said.

"Every day has been a celebration," Ketchum resident Matt Curci said. "She is a very gracious, very approachable person, she deserves every bit of it."

A snowboarding area on Sun Valley's Bald Mountain was even renamed 'Kaitlyn's Bowl' for her.

"It's just been an amazing experience, and I'm glad that I get to share this all with you guys and this gold medal with all of you," Farrington said.