A champion feels the love
Olympiad enjoys lively community reception on short notice
By Willie Kiernan
A community embraced an Olympiad though they hardly know each other.
"It's certainly great to be here," said Beezie Madden. "I haven't been home since May."
Madden was visibly surprised to witness the reception given to her by the greater Cazenovia area after returning home from the Olympics with a team gold and an individual bronze medal.
"To come home to this, it's even better," Madden said.
Hundreds of well-wishers, mostly strangers to the local hero, gathered around the podium at Memorial Park in Cazenovia Tuesday to honor Madden and the horse she ran on, Authentic.
"Authentic wishes he were here, but the horses got the last tickets out of Hong Kong," Madden said.
Assemblyman Bill Magee led a contingent of local dignitaries who all shared their reverence and appreciation for Madden and her efforts.
"Hard work and a passion is a path to success and we're so proud to have Beezie to show us how it's done," said Cazenovia Supervisor Liz Moran.
Though Madden actually lives in the town of Nelson, it has always been reported, since before her gold medal in the 2004 Olympics, that she hails from Cazenovia.
"The village of Cazenovia is extremely proud of Beezie," said Cazenovia Mayor Tom Dougherty. "There's not too many villages that can say they share the same zip code of someone with three Olympic medals."
The Mayor pointed out that Beezie was already declared with a resolution the official equestrian of the village of Caz after 2004, and has done nothing since then to allow that status to slip. He also presented her a plaque from the Caz/Nelson community to commemorate her achievements.
Cazenovia High School Student Council Vice-President Julie Henderson informed the crowd she was not merely representing the community.