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Hometown Honors Olympic Champion


Olympic women's figure skating champion Sarah Hughes' hometown of Great Neck, New York has celebrated her gold medal, as hundreds of people lined the streets to watch a parade in her honor.

The 16-year-old Hughes waved to the crowd Sunday from the back of a black Bentley convertible and held up her gold medal. Hughes pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the Winter Games in Salt Lake City, when she turned a fourth-place finish in preliminary competition into an Olympic gold medal with her performance in the finals.

The marching band from Great Neck North High School, where Hughes is a junior, paraded though the Long Island town. Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer and mayors from surrounding towns also took part in the parade.

Parade observers called Hughes' win the best thing that had happened to the town in 50 years, and said it created wonderful community spirit.