SEATTLE (April 21) - Two-time Olympian Torin Koos (Leavenworth, WA) was honored for his athletic accomplishments at a Seattle Supersonics basketball game April 13 while home on break. Koos, who grew up watching the Sonics, was excited to be recognized at the game as one of the nation's top Olympic cross country athletes.
"It was pretty sweet to have them recognize me. I had tickets down on the court and that's the way to watch the game. You really get to see the action," Koos said.
Koos, along with other athletes like NBA hall-of-famer Gary Payton and the WNBA's Sheryl Swoopes, were announced to the crowd during the evening and photo montages of them competing in their sport were flashed over the arena's big screen.
The honor was thanks in large part to Tony Wiederkehr who, after traveling to an Eastonian cross country World Cup and meeting Koos, realized the Washington native's love for the Sonics and wanted to do something special for him.
"Through our discussions I realized he was keeping up with "happenings" back here in Washington state via the Internet, so much so that he seemed to know more than I did about what was going on," Wiederkehr said. "I figured we should definitely get him to a Sonics game. Clearly, the Sonics had a World Class fan here."
Although the Sonics beat the Dallas Mavericks in an exciting 99-95 finish, Koos' one regret is that his favorite team will likely be leaving Seattle after the season.
"I grew up watching the Supersonics and they are my favorite team to watch," Koos said. "It was cool to be there except that it was bittersweet in that the Sonics are probably leaving after this season."
Koos, who was second at the Canadian Championships, which were held on the 2010 Olympic venue in March, will return to Whistler at the end of the month to begin summer training.