Olympic gymnast gets hero's homecoming
A Lehigh County gymnast is heading to London, but Monday night, she got a hero's welcome as she arrived home from the Olympic trials in California.
"I was kind of surprised," said Elizabeth Price of Coopersburg. "There were so many people here. I wasn't really expecting all this."
You couldn't blame Elizabeth Price's neighbors for being excited. After all, it's not that often you have an Olympic gymnast down the street.
"Elizabeth had a lot of people supporting her here," said her mother, Diane. "People would see me in the grocery store and say, 'How's she doing?', or at the gym."
Elizabeth, or "Ebee," as her friends call her, just competed in San Jose, Ca., for a spot on the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. Although she won't compete, Price will head to London as an alternate.
"Well, I knew I didn't have as much experience as all the other girls going into the competition, and they've all been to a lot bigger competitions, but I'm still really proud of how I did," she said.
Price's godfather said it's still a huge achievement.
"She's accomplished quite an outstanding feat," said Nathaniel Greer. "There's not that many people in the world who can claim to be part of an Olympic team."
Roughly 70 neighbors gathered to greet Price. Her whole neighborhood was also decked out with balloons, streamers, and American flags.
Price, who just turned 16, has spent years training with Allentown's Parkettes gymnastics squad.
"She's in that gym 40 hours a week, and she's sacrificed so much," said her mother.
It's a rigorous schedule.
"In the last several years, she's been home schooling so that she can keep up with the rigors of two-a-day gymnastics practices," said Greer.
There is no rest for the weary, though. Price heads to Houston on July 11 to train, then onto England.