Ocala prepares to celebrate three Olympic speed skating medalists – Central Florida News

The Ocala Fire Rescue uses water cannons to greet one of two jets bringing Olympic medalists to the city for a welcome celebration. Image: Ocala via Facebook

OCALA – The city of Ocala will celebrate its trio of Olympic speed skating medalists with a parade down Silver Springs Boulevard and a ceremony downtown Saturday night.

Ocala doesn’t get very cold and there’s no skating rink. What he has are three Olympians who won a medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics in speed skating.

Erin Jackson won gold in the women’s 500 meters. And Brittany Bowe and Joey Mantia have won bronze medals in other events.

Ocala is now preparing to give them a warm welcome with a Chamber and Economic Partnership-sponsored breakfast on Friday and a reception that evening at the Marion County Black History Museum.

During the day, they will visit their old high schools and talk to students.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, a parade of champions begins at Webb Field and runs down Silver Springs Boulevard to an event in the downtown plaza. Politicians will honor the athletes and fans will have the chance to meet them.

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