NEW MADISON, Ohio (WDTN) – An Olympic medalist comes home after winning bronze in Rio. New Madison welcomed back Clayton Murphy with a parade and special ceremony at the football game Friday night.
Clayton Murphy is happy to be home and so is the entire town of New Madison–who showed up to welcome him back. Residents I spoke with say since the beginning of the Rio Olympics, his whole town has been watching. And Friday for the first time they got to congratulate him after his big win.
Hundreds of people lined Main Street in New Madison Friday to welcome home Olympic Bronze Medalist Clayton Murphy.
“The town has just gone crazy,” Deb Scantland said. “It’s so exciting.”
Deb Scantland has had her house decorated since Murphy first starting competing in Rio. She says it’s still surreal seeing him home.
“I don’t think people really realize what an honor this is and what this kid has achieved from coming from such a small town,” Scantland said. “His determination is just unreal.”
“It’s awesome,” Murphy said. “There’s chills running through the town and being able to say thank you to everybody. It’s an awesome.”
New Madison watched as Murphy won this Bronze Medal in the Men’s 800 meter race. Because of his accomplishments school and county officials along with New Madison Mayor Lisa Garland held a special recognition ceremony at Friday night’s football game.
“When Clayton made it to the Olympics is was such excitement,” Garland said. “For our whole community.”
And that excitement continued as Mayor Garland gave an official proclamation of gratitude to Murphy.
“Driving through the country there was people with signs on the road,” Murphy said. “It was cool to see the people that I grew up around supporting me. It’s cool to have that.”
His fifth grade teacher Jeany Ott is one of his biggest supporters.
“He definitely will be a role model,” Ott said. “He was a role model in 5th grade and I’m sure he is still today.”
When it comes to following your dreams, Murphy says never give up.
“Whatever is your passion find it and run with it,” Murphy said. “I found running as my passion in high school and I ran with it and now I’m competing on the biggest stage ever so you never know where you are going to end up.”