Olympians Welcomed Home

More than four hundred people, including 100 members of past and present Olympic teams gathered on Wednesday, November 3 at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco to salute the newest class of Northern California Olympians - members of the 2004 Athens and 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic teams.

Among the Olympians in attendance were 1936 gold-medal-winning water polo player Alex Tarics of Hungary, 1968 Gold Medalist figure skater Peggy Flemming, 1960 Olympic champion Bill Toomey, 1992 Silver Medalist rower Ted Murphy, 1998 Gold Medal skier Jonny Moseley, 2004 Silver Medalist pole vaulter Toby Stevenson, 2004 swimming star Natalie Coughlin, and beloved Paralympic Basketball Player Trooper Johnson.

Guests were treated to a silent auction of Olympic memorabilia, a delicious meal, a surprise visit by former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, a lively Q&A session between NBC-TV 11's Raj Mathai and a panel of current Olympians, and a powerful highlight film of the Games produced by 1984 Olympian Barbra Higgins.

Proceeds of the dinner fund the NCO Grant Program, which makes travel and training grants to future Olympians.

An Olympic dinner at the Ritz-Carlton.

Two time Olympian and Gold Medalist - Jonny Moseley, Skiing, 1998 and 2002.

2004 Olympian - Grace Upshaw, Athletics.

Olympic Icon - Alex Tarics, Water Polo, 1936 and his wife.

A night to be remembered.

1960 Olympic swimmer and President of the Northern California Olympians Anne Cribbs, welcomes all in attendance.

7 Time World Champion and 2004 Olympic Sailor Paul Cayard, describes the best part of the Olympics for him - the Opening Ceremonies.

Emcee of the evening, two-time Emmy award winner and NBC11's sports director, Raj Mathai.

San Francisco's former Mayor Willie Brown stopped in to congratulate all the Olympians on their hard work and dedication.

Two-time Gold Medalist, Swimmer, Natalie Coughlin and Silver Medalist, Pole Vaulter, Toby Stevenson remember their favorite Athens' memory.

Four time Paralympic Basketball Player, Trooper Johnson smiles as he recalls the feeling he had as he sat at center court at the Olympic Arena.


Robert Noakes