Monday night’s City Council meeting in Seward, Alaska, wasn’t the first thing on Mayor Christy Terry’s mind. It was seeing hometown hero Lydia Jacoby win gold in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Olympics.
The small port city, roughly 100 miles and a two-hour drive south from Anchorage, has a population of about 2,700, but hundreds of people gathered to watch Jacoby’s win.
Terry wasn’t one of those people gathered in a ship hangar for a watch party because she was in the council chambers for a meeting that already had been postponed so members could watch the race.
But the reactions in the chambers were similar to the cheers and excitement inside the hangar and across the country in Orlando as Jacoby’s parents saw their daughter achieve Olympic history.
“It’s just such a momentous occasion. There was crying, there was yelling. We are so proud of our hometown girl, and we’re so enthusiastic for the United States today to have a gold medal,” Terry told USA TODAY Sports. “We’re just over the world.”
While she shined Tuesday in Tokyo, the people of Seward long knew there was something special in Jacoby.
She is the first Olympic swimmer and only the 10th Summer Olympian to be born in Alaska. She broke numerous high school state records, and her parents, Richard and Leslie Jacoby, told USA TODAY this week that their daughter took to the water “right off the bat.”
“So many people have seen Lydia grow up from a small girl, having been supported through…