Naples honors gold medal rower
Posted at: 08/18/2012 6:23 PM
| Updated at: 08/19/2012 10:39 PM
By: Justin Granit | WHEC.com
Meghan Musnicki won gold with the Women's Rowing Eight team in the London Olympics. Since returning to the United States, Musnicki has made appearances all over New York City. But none of it really compares to the welcome Musnicki received from her hometown of Naples.
From London to Naples, Meghan Musnicki is golden. Saturday morning, the Village of Naples lined the streets for a parade to welcome home their gold medal winning Olympic rower who has been on a whirlwind since returning from the games. On Wednesday, Musnicki opened up the Stock Exchange and was on the Today show. But Saturday she was in the place that matters most.
"I know all these people," says Musnicki. "They've known me since I was a little kid and they've been there one way or another and they're here experiencing something that means so much to me. It's an indescribable feeling."
“Naples is so proud,” says Deborah Kickbush. “To think she got so far is amazing.”
What else is amazing is the U.S. Rowing Eight’s dominance over the field in London. The team led the finals from start to finish beating silver medalist Canada by 1.47 seconds. The feat even shocked Musnicki.
“It’s like joy,” says Musnicki. “It’s like an amazing feeling of joy. We just did well, planned well and came out on top.”
After Saturday’s parade, Megan embraced her audience taking many pictures with fans. But there was one person who didn’t take a photo with Meghan: her father Bill. He died of a heart attack when she was a freshman in college.
“This is my first major life event since he passed away that he hasn’t been here,” said Musnicki. “It was hard to know he wasn’t there physically but he was there watching I know he was.”
Bill was watching and so was the rest of the world, with rowing on its biggest stage, setting up a possible encore.
“Maybe, I’ll go to Rio,” said Musnicki.