Silver Spring, Md. — Four months removed from some dazzling moments on the world’s stage Olympic athletes that call Montgomery County home were basking in the glow of appreciation once again.
Swimmers Katie Ledecky and Jack Conger along with Ashley Nee, who competed in the canoe slalom in Rio, shared the stage for a community celebration of their accomplishments.
Helen Maroulis, another Montgomery county native, who became the first woman to capture a gold medal in wrestling was not able to attend Monday night’s ceremony.
Between the four of them, Montgomery county can claim six gold medals— which is more than many states.
“Thank you to everyone,” said Ledecky. “I can’t even describe the amount of support we got in Rio and that’s what keeps us going every day in practice.”
Ledecky was commended by County Administrator Ike Leggett for performing above and beyond enormous expectations.
Conger told the crowd it was his first post-Olympics speech and that he may have angered his mother by leaving his gold medal in Austin where he lives while attending the University of Texas.
Nee said her success wouldn’t have been possible without being in a place that was so close to the big city and the natural resources she needed to train.
“The rapids that run through Montgomery county (in the Potomac river) are unique and world class,” said Nee. “The access that the parks department grants to us to get out there is unparalleled— from DC to white rapids in 20 minutes.”
Montgomery county leaders said efforts are in the works to launch a Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame with the 2016 Olympians the initial inductees.