Just a month ago, she was representing our country on the world’s stage. Friday, Shelby Houlihan made her first trip back to her alma mater, after finishing 11th in the 5K at the Olympic games in Rio…and she got a surprise.
East High held an assembly for Shelby.
A surprised Shelby Houlihan walked into her old stomping ground, the gymnasium of east high. Students cheered, the band played loudly. The girls cross country team greeted Shelby with flowers and a gift while her principal spoke with pride of the alumna….a huge welcome home.
“It was amazing. It was more than I expected. It means a lot to see even the young kids of the high school that I went to come out and support me. Hopefully I can inspire the kids here now to kind of go for their dreams and their passions” says Shelby Houlihan, U.S. Olympian, East High Alumna.
“Honestly, it hasn’t totally hit me. I know everyone keeps like ‘Oh you’re an Olympian, you’re an Olympian.. that’s awesome’ and I’m like ‘Oh yea I am! That’s kind of cool!’ But, it’s obviously an awesome honor and I’m glad I could come back for a few days and share it with everybody” says Shelby Houlihan, U.S. Olympian, East High Alumna.
Shelby greeted students and signed autographs after the assembly…. eager to inspire young runners. When asked who her greatest inspiration on the track was…she said her mom.
“On the weekends when I didn’t have anyone else she was always there, and I think just getting advice from her growing up on how to race, things to prepare… she’s definitely been a big influence and she’s probably one of my number one fans” says Shelby Houlihan, U.S. Olympian, East High Alumna.
Next week… Shelby and the rest of the U.S. Olympic team are off to Washington D.C. to meet the president!