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Man who helped bring 2009 Special Olympics to Idaho dies in kayaking accident

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A Sun Valley man who helped bring the 2009 Winter Special Olympics to Boise died in a kayaking accident Monday.

According to the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, 56-year-old James Grossman died while kayaking in the Fall Creek Area on the Salmon River. Officials didn’t release very many details other than it was an accident.

Grossman made news in 2006 when he and his then wife Pirie Grossman spearheaded the 2009 Winter Special Olympics. According to an archived article from the Mountain Express, the Grossmans raised $7 million in two weeks to bring the games to Boise. The article called their efforts “nothing short of superhuman” and it led to Boise, Idaho beating out Reno, Nevada, Schladming-Graz, Austria, and Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany in a bid for the games.

Pirie Grossman told BoiseDev that bringing the Special Olympics to Boise was in honor of James’ sister, Courtney Grossman, who has intellectual disabilities.

“He had a special place in his heart for all of these amazing athletes,” Pirie Grossman said.

In addition to his work with the Special Olympics, Grossman also helped develop the Hidden Springs community.

Gretchen Parsons - BoiseDev Managing Editor
Gretchen Parsons - BoiseDev Managing Editor
Gretchen Parsons is BoiseDev's managing editor. Contact her at [email protected].

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