By The Associated Press
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — About a thousand people welcomed Olympic long-jump champion Brittney Reese back to south Mississippi, and she gave them credit.
After she won, she said support she got from people on the Gulf Coast helped her do it. On Saturday, Reese held up the gold medal and told the crowd Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, “I would like to just present this to y’all and show y’all what y’all have done.”
The crowd filled the airport’s first and second floors, waving flags, cheering and chanting “Way to go Brittney, way to go!” as she walked in, holding a huge bouquet of red roses and flanked by police, Mayor George Schloegel and her family.
The 25-year-old graduate of Gulfport High and Ole Miss jumped 23 feet, 4 ½ inches to become the first American woman to win the Olympic long jump since Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1988.