NJ welcomes home double Olympic gold medalists McLaughlin, Mu
Both of New Jersey’s newest Olympic gold medalist track stars have been celebrated with hometown honors following the Tokyo summer games.
Sydney McLaughlin spoke at a ceremony in Dunellen on Saturday, where the running track at Columbia Park was renamed in her honor.
Athing Mu waved back at cheering crowds on Sunday, atop a patriotic float towed by a Trenton department of public works truck for a parade through city streets.
Gov. Phil Murphy and Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora were among those who helped welcome Mu on Sunday.
The governor shared several photos on Twitter, writing in part to Mu, "you have many more laps to run, medals to earn, and records to break. Your home state will be here to cheer you on through it all!"
Dunellen Mayor Jason Cilento also shared some photos of Saturday's ceremony on Twitter.
"I think the most memorable was the complete sense of pride we all felt as we honored not just a remarkable athlete but a genuinely kind and humble human being. We witnessed this as Sydney took her time to walk person-to-person to say hello and sign autographs," Cilento wrote in a tweet.
McLaughlin's alma mater, Union Catholic High School, also was represented at the Dunellen ceremony. She was still a student when she qualified for her first Olympics — the 2016 summer Rio Games.
Union Catholic High School Principal, Sister Percylee Hart, track and field coach Mike McCabe and Assistant Principal, Dr. Jim Reagan were among those in attendance.
The 21-year-old McLaughlin won the Women's 400M hurdles — breaking her own world record — while 19-year-old Mu won the Women's 800M, hours apart on Aug. 3, day 12 of the summer games in Japan.
Then, the pair of young athletes ran in the women’s 4x400-meter relay, each scoring a second gold medal alongside U.S. teammates Dalilah Muhammad and Allyson Felix.
With that win, Felix claimed her 11th career medal in Olympic competition, breaking a record set by another notable NJ Olympian, Carl Lewis, who grew up in Willingboro.