ELYRIA — Elyria will bloom with red, white and blue next week when the city honors Elyrian Tianna Madison in her bid in the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
Madison, a 2003 graduate of Elyria High School and local track phenom, will compete in the 100-meter run and 4x100 relay. But before she strives for Olympic gold, supporters in Elyria want her to know they support her.
“We are so very proud of her,” said Mayor Holly Brinda, who knew Madison when she and her daughter were on the same track team. “It’s been a long road, but she has showed through it dignity, grace, perseverance and awe-inspiring athleticism.”
Brinda said the city, in conjunction with Elyria Schools, will hold an Olympic celebration for Madison 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in Ely Square. Madison, who is traveling through Europe, will not be in attendance. But she has many family and friends locally.
“It is so very important for our family to be able to share this amazing experience with our community, and we are just so grateful for everyone’s well wishes and thoughts of encouragement,” said Madison’s mother, Joanne Madison.
Brinda said residents can show their support by attending the rally and bringing American flags to wave. A large banner also will be on hand and residents will have an opportunity to sign it with messages for Madison.
Family members will take the banner to Madison in London to demonstrate hometown support. A video of the local event will be posted to YouTube for Tianna to view.
In addition, residents are being asked to tie red, white and blue ribbons to mailboxes, trees, porch columns and telephone poles in support of Madison.
“We want to let the pride and encouragement flow from every household, business, school and office building in our community,” Brinda said.
Madison follows the footsteps of George Phineas Guthrie III, who won the 110 hurdles at the 1924 Olympic trials at Harvard University, as a Lorain County Olympic competitor.
Joanne Madison said Madison and her family will chronicle their Olympic adventure in real time on a new Facebook page created for the occasion, called Madison Family on the Road to London.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.