Throngs of well-wishers, fans and residents gathered at on Sunday evening to get a glimpse at one of their Olympic own -- Kim Rhode, fresh from winning skeet shooting gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Rhode was the star of a short ceremony planned by the city to honor her accomplishments, one of which is being the first American to garner medals in five straight Olympic Games, dating back to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta when she took home gold in double trap shooting. Rhode brought all five of her medals with her: three gold, one silver and a bronze.
Before the start of the ceremony, Rhode took time to take pictures with welcoming fans of all ages, some of whom she adorned with her cadre of medals. The ceremony also drew Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, members of the City Council along with Assemblymen Tim Donnelly and Anthony Portantino. All voiced their praise and pride to Rhode while offering certificates of recognition.
Rhode, who said she lives "just down the street" from the park, simply walked over to the ceremony as the time drew closer. When it was her turn to speak, she talked about her journey that started when she was just a teenager and culiminated in 1996, her first Olympics.
"I don't think I realized what the Olympics were all about until I went to march into the opening ceremonies," she said. "I'm standing there with all the other Olympians and there's (people) cheering 'U.S.A., U.S.A.!' I remember going over and taking pictures of complete strangers. It was truly amazing."
Rhode also addressed her most common question, which was relaying what it feels like to stand on the Olympic podium.
"It had nothing to do with the gold, silver or the bronze, it's totally about the journey," she said. "Those are the things that flash in the seconds before the flag is raised and you're hearing the national anthem. It's so addicting, and hopefully we can do it again in 2016."
The 2016 Summer Olympics are in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where Rhode told others that hopefully she'll go "6-for-6" when the time comes.