Olympian Uceny receives hero's welcome home to Plymouth

The rain couldn't keep her fans away. Even as it came down, fans came out in full force to see their hometown hero.

"We want Mo, we want Mo," were the chants for the Plymouth faithful.

With all that cheering, you'd think Morgan Uceny was coming home with the gold.

But, during the finals of the 1,500 meter race in London last month, Uceny's dream ended with devastation when she was tripped in the final lap as she made her push towards a medal.

"I just felt amazing and I was like, this is it, this is going to happen for me. And the next thing I know I was on the ground," Uceny told the crowd as she began to tear up.

"When I knew it wasn't going to happen, I just reacted. I didn't think I should get up, there was no thinking at all. I was just devastated and I couldn't have moved if I wanted to. I knew it was over and I just didn't do anything about it."

But, it doesn't matter to the proud people of Plymouth who showed full support in a "meet and greet" event at the Blueberry Festival hosted by NewsCenter 16's own Angelo Di Carlo.

Ever since Uceny's Olympic journey began, they've been behind her the entire way.

"It definitely was a great experience and London itself was just amazing and having my family over there and being able to experience that was great," Morgan explains. "Just hearing about the way it brought the community together and people just went on this journey with me, that's all been part of the positive experience."

Now Uceny is focusing on relaxing, but her fans want to know about the athlete's future---will she give the Olympics another go four years from now in Rio?

"We have so many years until then and a runner's career is a little shorter," Morgan says. "I always say I love to run, I love to compete and as long as I'm still passionate about what I'm doing in four years, I'll keep doing it."

While Uceny may still dream of winning a medal, if she doesn't, it's OK with her fans; because she's already won something very valuable--an entire community's hearts.

"She's really nice and I feel proud of her for running," says Evyn Mangun.

"I love her because she doesn't quit and she's a really good runner," says Evyn's younger sister Tess. "She makes me proud."

Morgan thanked all the fans for showing her support. She signed autographs for every person who wanted one after the chat with fans. She feels if everyone supported her, it's the least she can do for them.

Morgan went grocery shopping with her dad this week. She said it took several hours because of all the people who stopped her along the way.

She also thanked fans for helping her parents out. Fundraisers were started in the community to help offset the costs for the Ucenys to travel to London to see Morgan Uceny. Brenda and Marty Uceny were planning to take out a 2nd mortgage on their home, if needed.

Morgan said she needed her family more than ever in the days following her fall in the Olympics. She couldn't imagine going through those difficult times without them. And without the people of Plymouth, perhaps some of her family members would not have been able to make the trip.

Uceny has not raced since the Olympics. She actually was hurt during the fall and is now recovering from some foot and hip issues. She will take a little more time off, including a vacation to Hawaii with her brother.

She says she's enjoying this down period and will even enjoy some Blueberry donuts which were a special delivery made to her during the "meet and greet."

Then her journey begins again.


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