Hundreds of town residents crowded into Abbot Hall in Marblehead Sunday afternoon to meet and honor the local Olympians who put Marblehead on the map with their performances at the summer games in London.
The event, sponsored by the Marblehead Forever Committee, provided an eager crowd of more than 200 local residents the opportunity to meet, congratulate and take photographs with local gold-medalist Kayla Harrison and former Marblehead resident Sara Hendershot, who placed fourth in women's pairs rowing.
Although she was not on hand Sunday, the event also honored the efforts of local marathoner Shalane Flanagan, who placed 10th in the women's marathon in London.
Speakers at the event included state Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn), state Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) and members of the local Board of Selectmen.
Earlier this summer, Harrison, 22, of Marblehead, became the first American win a gold medal in judo when she defeated Gemma Gibbons of Great Britain in the women's half-heavyweight judo competition. She now trains and teaches children's classes at Pedro's Judo Club in Wakefield.
Hendershot, 24, of Simsbury, Conn., lived in Marblehead and finished fourth in women's pairs rowing at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She also won gold in the four at the 2011 World Rowing Championships; won the gold in the four at the 2010 World Rowing Under 23 Championships and won the eight and the four at the 2005 CanAmMex Regatta.
Check back with Marblehead Patch Monday morning for our full coverage of Sunday's celebration.