People donning “Go Lydia!” T-shirts and waving crimson foam fingers lined the streets of downtown Seward last Thursday night to cheer on hometown hero Lydia Jacoby, who returned this week from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics — gold and silver medals in tow.
Jacoby, 17, is a rising senior at Seward High School and won a gold medal for Team USA during the women’s 100-meter breaststroke last week. Jacoby also raced in the Olympics’ inaugural 400-meter mixed medley relay, where she and Team USA placed fifth, and the 400-meter women’s mixed medley relay, where she and Team USA won silver.
Led by a train of police cars, fire trucks and cars loaded down with supporters, Jacoby and her parents pulled up the rear. From under a red, white and blue balloon arch, gold and silver medals around her neck, Jacoby waived to supporters.
Also in attendance during Thursday’s parade was Gov. Mike Dunleavy, State Sen. Peter Micciche, State Rep. Ben Carpenter and Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member Kenn Carpenter. After being honored by lawmakers, Jacoby boarded a Kenai Fjords Tours boat and participated in a Q&A from Resurrection Bay, where she thanked community members for their support throughout her swimming career.
“I’m so thankful for you all,” Jacoby said from the boat.
Jacoby’s full Q&A can be viewed on the Seward Tsunami Swim Club Facebook page.