The crowd cheers as Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby passes through Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

The crowd cheers as Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby passes through Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

‘So thankful for you all’

Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby returns as Seward’s hometown hero

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.

Reach reporters Ashlyn O’Hara and Camille Botello at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com and camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby waves to the crowd in Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby waves to the crowd in Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

The crowd takes photos as Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby passes through Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

The crowd takes photos as Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby passes through Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

The crowd cheers and takes photos as Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby passes through Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

The crowd cheers and takes photos as Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby passes through Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

State Rep. Ben Carpenter (left), Lydia Jacoby (second from left), State Sen. Peter Micciche (second from right) and Gov. Mike Dunleavy (right) pose for a picture on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

The crowd cheers and takes photos as Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby passes through Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Kids hold a sign cheering on 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby, who earned a gold and silver medal in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kids hold a sign cheering on 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby, who earned a gold and silver medal in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

A crowd watches Lydia Jacoby from shore on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

A crowd watches Lydia Jacoby from shore on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby waves to the crowd in Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

A crowd watches Lydia Jacoby from shore on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby waves to the crowd in Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

A crowd watches Lydia Jacoby from shore on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby waves to the crowd in Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby waves to the crowd in Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Rebekah Ivy (pom-pom) cheers on Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby during a parade in Seward with Tell (left), Hazel (second from left) and Tell (right).

Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby waves to the crowd in Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Supporters cheer Lydia Jacoby, who earned a gold and silver medal in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby waves to the crowd in Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

People line up to watch Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby pass through Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

People line up to watch Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby pass through Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

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