Friday was "Brittney Reese Day" in the Gulfport School District and
four schools hosted celebrations to honor their golden girl. The Olympic
champion was showered with gifts and love, and she even showed off some
of her athletic skills.
The moment Brittney Reese walked
through the doors of Bayou View Middle School on Friday, the cheering in
the gym reached an ear-splitting crescendo.
"I felt like I was
walking down to the track. I have a lot of fans overseas, and I feel
like I got a lot of fans here," said Brittney Reese.
"Oh, it was amazing, because I expected her to be exactly like she was. I was just excited," said eighth grader Christina Jones.
on the very court she once played basketball on as a child, Brittney
expressed her deep gratitude for the outpouring of support.
"This is a great day for me. I want all you all to be encouraged and learn from this," Reese told the crowd.
Brittney explained how hard work and perseverance helped her along the road from Gulfport to the London Olympics.
should be able to tell you all that it doesn't matter where you come
from in order to succeed. I want to encourage you all to continue to
follow your dreams," said Reese.
The school presented Brittney
with some mementoes and the Gulfport Kiwanis Club honored Brittney with a
banner. It will hang at Gulfport High School to remind students how far
Brittney jumped to win Olympic gold, and how they too can go the
"I'm running cross country for the school and that
inspires me to do better than most of my teammates, so I can succeed
just like her," said eighth grader Austin Norris.
Before she left
the school, Brittney got a chance to take part in one final race. She
ran while trying to balance an orange on a spoon.
graciously stopped for hugs and pictures. Brittney's former teachers
beamed with pride, noticing that Brittney has not forgotten one lesson
-- to always remember her roots.
"She's a hometown girl. We're so
proud of her and it was just so awesome to see her today, and she's
blessed us so much," said her former math teacher Mary West.
fabulous! It's been a lot of years since we taught her. There aren't
many of us old timers left here at this school," said another former
math teacher Marcelle Patterson.
Brittney Reese also visited Pass
Road Elementary and Anniston Elementary Friday. During a stop at
Gulfport High, she announced a $3,000 scholarship fund for seniors.
Plus, the school gave her a surprise gift, a concrete monument listing
her athletic accomplishments.
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