Vermont’s capital city celebrated its hometown Olympic gold medalist Friday.
State Street in Montpelier shut down briefly for a victory parade honoring ice hockey player Amanda Pelkey, with fans and neighbors gathering to congratulate her.
Pelkey rode in a convertible with relatives, proudly wearing her hefty gold medal around her neck.
The Vermont native just won gold in South Korea as part of Team USA, which edged its rivals on Team Canada in a thrilling overtime shootout.
In her quest for Olympic glory, Pelkey tallied two key assists and got ice time in each of the games.
The University of Vermont alum, who broke ice hockey program records for point-scoring at UVM, told necn she loves encouraging young players to achieve their goals in sports.
“It’s a cliche thing to say, but to inspire the next generation,” Pelkey said in response to an necn question about what she most enjoys about meeting fans. “I think we saw it firsthand this past week in our media tour. We were going to NHL games where lines were around the arena, filled with girls and boys coming to see us. Those were the fans we love to see, and love to put the medal around their neck.”
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Youth hockey players Gracyn Kurrle and Alyssa Frazier were in the crowd that gathered at Montpelier City Hall Friday to cheer on Pelkey.
“Amanda’s an inspiration to so many young ladies and hockey players,” Kurrle said.
“Really cool,” Frazier said of the experience of seeing Pelkey wearing her gold medal in downtown Montpelier. “And she’s really nice, too.”
Montpelier presented Pelkey with an Olympic flag that flew outside city hall during the Winter Olympic Games.
Pelkey told necn she plans to live in Boston and continue her hockey training, with a goal of playing in the Olympics again in four years.
Pelkey also plays with the Boston Pride in the National Women’s Hockey League.