Thousands lined the streets of Great Neck, N.Y. on Sunday to honor a hometown Olympic hero who graced the Salt Lake City ice and excited a nation a few short weeks ago. U.S. figure skating gold medalist Sarah Hughes still hasn't gotten down from cloud nine just yet and for good reason. Cablevision, the Rangers and News 12 were proud sponsors Sunday's parade honoring the 16-year old Olympic champion.
A reported 60,000 fans lined the streets for the event, which culminated at Great Neck North High School. Many local and state officials took part in the festivities honoring Hughes, including New York senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Manhattan native and Blueshirt alumnus Brian Mullen represented the Rangers and presented the gold medalist with a framed Rangers jersey signed by the 2001-02 team as well as a jumbo card signed by Blueshirt fans. Fans have had the opportunity to sign the card at Rangers home games over the past few weeks at MSG.
Hughes has a long association with the Rangers, dating back to 1993 when she began skating during intermissions of games at Madison Square Garden at the age of seven. Sarah has performed several times at MSG between 1994 and 1999.