Close to 1,000 athletes, coaches, officials, family members and friends will arrive in the Wood River Valley and [R440R, Sun Valley Resort], Feb. 7-13, to participate in the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

Officials headquartered in Boise say more than 400 athletes from 39 different countries will be snowboarding and cross-country skiing at Sun Valley and Dollar Mountain respectively. [R65R, Bogus Basin] will claim the alpine events.

These athletes will come with a large support staff, family and friends, with more than 400 rooms reserved.

"We are incredibly excited and grateful for the opportunity to be a host community for part of the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games, and we can all appreciate the significant economic and visitor impact this event will have on our arena this winter," said executive director of the Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber and Visitors Bureau Carol Waller.

"As expected, the entire Wood River Valley community has demonstrated again that it's truly a community that cares," added CEO of the 2009 Games, Chip Fisher. "I am proud of what these Games bring to the state of Idaho and to the Sun Valley area; not only from an economic standpoint but also as a celebration of competition of the human spirit."