Fort Mill Times

Van Wyck's Olympic hero comes home

Shawn Crawford accepts welcome-home gifts, including fishing gear, from Tommy Broome. Next to Crawford is his mom, Sylvia.
Shawn Crawford accepts welcome-home gifts, including fishing gear, from Tommy Broome. Next to Crawford is his mom, Sylvia.

From the red, white and blue balloons, White Oak AME Zion Mass Choir and politicians on the stump, you name it and the town had it.

It's more than all that, however. It is about a great guy from a small town who is still humble and appreciative of his roots. When he got home from the Olympics in China, Shawn went fishing in the same pond he has fished in since he was child to catch the elusive bass.

There were many speakers, but I thought coach Gary Moore of Indian Land High School said it all when he was asked how the school trained Shawn. Moore said, "I just drove the bus; God gave him the talent to run."

And run he did. Shawn Crawford is still the only student from ILHS - and Clemson - to win three Olympic medals.

There was a lot of praise and a resolution from the Lancaster County Council in appreciation of Shawn. Other speakers were the Rev. Randy McSpadden, a representative from Gov. Sanford's office and many more.

Shawn spoke briefly and said he does not know how to handle all the attention that comes his way. I believe he does, he just doesn't know it!

The White Oak AME Zion Church Mass Choir sang and asked Shawn to join in. He sang like he had never left that choir. He did not miss a note and even sang solo.

The event ended when Shawn ran on the Shawn Crawford Fitness Track, letting all the children out run him. One of the girls who ran past him was my granddaughter Elizabeth. Another was her friend Charlotte Keibich. Memories. Yes, you can be sure of that.

The balloons were then released and a sea of red, white and blue filled the air. What a marvelous sight. A great day in America!

• Want to share some news with This Side Up? Email Pat at pateudy@comporium.net.

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