Gulfport’s own Brittney Reese gets a warm welcome home

Published: Sep. 4, 2021 at 8:02 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Four days from Saturday will mark one month since the 2021 Olympics ended in Tokyo. Although games are over, the city of Gulfport hasn’t stopped celebrating its gold medalist Olympic hero Brittney Reese.

“She always says as a little girl, ‘I’m going to the Olympics’,” said Reese’s mom Carla Young.

Reese turned that young dream into a reality with not just one Olympic appearance, but four.

“You know it’s been a journey,” Reese said.

A journey Reese’s community has always supported and followed. Now, whenever she’s home, it’s a celebration.

On Saturday, the bleachers at Milner Stadium were filled with fans of all ages, all proud of Reese’s accomplishments this far.

“First track meet was in Biloxi and she went 18.5 and the rest was history,” said Reese’s high school track coach Prince Jones. “She was the number long jump in the nation her senior year at 20 feet three inches coming out of high school.”

Jones, Young, and Gulfport residents like Valinda Payton all agree they couldn’t be prouder.

“I’m so proud of her,” Payton said. “I’ve seen her grow from her Ole Miss days to the Olympic days and I couldn’t be more proud of her to have her as a positive role model for our community.”

Young said her daughter has always strived to be her best, whether that was in basketball or track. Young said it was always Reese’s path, which she never tried to control.

“I always told her to follow your dreams, can’t nobody hold you back but yourself,” Young said. “You got to remember this is your future. This is what you want. You don’t do what someone else wants you to do you do what you want.”

“It’s been a great journey for me,” Reese said. “I’m really blessed and I’m just grateful I have the skills I’ve been given to use them in a positive mindset.”

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