SEWARD — Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby rode in a trailer behind a pickup truck through the streets of Seward Thursday evening to receive a hero’s homecoming. The parade, held to honor her swimming success in the Tokyo games, allowed several hundred people a chance to cheer the 17-year-old breaststroke champion.
Jacoby said the events were a chance to share the moment with people who have supported her for years.
“It’s been amazing and I’m so thankful for you all,” she told the crowd.
Jacoby, who returned to her hometown earlier this week, became the first Alaskan to make the U.S. Olympic swim team. In Tokyo, she won gold in the 100-meter breaststroke and silver in the women’s medley relay.
After the parade, Jacoby addressed an audience from a tour boat in the bay while a crowd gathered by the Scheffler Creek Bridge. From there, Jacoby answered submitted questions. One question asked what she had to say to young women who look up to her now.
“Obviously, I come from a small town,” she said. “Wherever you’re from and whatever resources you have, with dedication and time you can make it happen.”