SEATTLE - About 300 people celebrated Winter Olympic and Paralympic athletes from Washington at a noon gathering Thursday at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle.
The athletes who attended included short track speedskater J.R. Celski of Federal Way; cross country skier Torin Koos of Leavenworth; luger Christian Niccum of Woodinville; bobsledder Bree Schaaf of Bremerton; hockey player Karen Thatcher of Blaine; and cross country skier Roberto Carcelen of Seattle, who competed for his native Peru.
Short track speedskater Apolo Ohno, who has eight Winter Olympic medals, did not attend. He was in New York where he appeared on NBC's "Today" show.
The athletes took a final bow before signing autographs.
KING 5's Allen Schauffer emceed the event. King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn were also in attendance.
After the event, the athletes were scheduled to go to Olympia to be hosted by Gov. Chris Gregoire at the governor's mansion.
Fourteen athletes with ties to Washington competed in the Vancouver Games and brought home six medals.