A Vermont town celebrated its home-grown Olympian Wednesday, with a parade, food, autograph signings, and more.
Megan Nick, 25, won a bronze medal last month at the Winter Olympics in China, as NECN & NBC10 Boston reported at the time.
During her first trip back home to Shelburne, Nick was greeted with a hero’s welcome — what organizers called “Megan Nick Day” in the community.
"We’re so proud of Megan," beamed Miranda Beverly-Whittemore of Shelburne. "It’s wonderful!"
The freestyle skier who specializes in aerials wore her bronze medal while riding in a parade and during a presentation in which she received small gifts and a proclamation from community leaders.
"It’s really cool to finally be able to celebrate with everyone," Nick said. "I didn’t have my family over there and friends, so to come back and finally share this with them is a really cool experience."
More on Megan Nick
Nick was a standout high school gymnast who used her air awareness to transition to what was a new sport for her. Her friends from the gymnastics world were among those cheering her on from afar in February.
"Because there are so many types of freestyle skiing and free skiing these days, it’s hard to recruit people to come to aerials," Nick acknowledged Wednesday in an interview with NECN & NBC10 Boston. "I hope me getting a medal, especially for any Vermont gymnasts out there who want to come try it, I hope I’ve inspired them."
The celebration in Shelburne was held after school, allowing for many children from the community to attend.
"I’m her biggest fan," youth gymnast Hannah Van Haste said. "I just love that she could get all the way up to the Olympic level."
"When she was a little girl, she went to my school," noted a proud Kitsune Lobenstine, a student at Shelburne Community School.
While organizers labeled Wednesday Megan Nick Day, the medalist really wanted to focus the attention on her neighbors.
"I definitely felt the love," Nick said, recalling her time in China, when she heard of all the support from back home.
In both her speech in Shelburne and in her interview with NECN & NBC10 Boston, Nick thanked Vermonters who have had her back for years.
"I could not have done this without them," Nick said. "They’ve supported me throughout this whole eight year journey and before that throughout my gymnastics career, so I would not be here today without them. So I’m extremely grateful. And this medal is for them just as much as it is for me."
Nick is working toward a master’s degree in environmental policy and management, and said she does plan to keep competing. However, the athlete said she is still deciding on whether to try for another Olympic medal in 2026.