The City of Trenton held a large parade on Sunday to Honor Olympic Athlete Athing Mu as she came home. Trentonians lined Hamilton Avenue, Clinton Avenue, and E State Street to cheer on the parade all the way down to city hall.
A number of Trenton organizations, stores, and even school clubs from Trenton Central High School, like the Drumline and the cheerleading squad, were present at the parade. The groups lined up on Chamber Street before making their way down to city hall in a two and a half-hour parade with Mu in the back on a red, white and blue float waving to the cheering crowds that met her on every corner.
Mu became the first American woman on Aug. 3 to win a gold medal in the 800-meter race since 1968. She would later win a second medal in the 4×400 meter relay with Jersey Native Sydney McLaughlin. “You are just not representing Trenton or the state of New Jersey,” Trenton City Council President Kathy McBride said to a cheering crowd. “You are representing the United States of America…This definitely is one for the books, welcome home Ms. Mu.”
Multiple public figures gave speeches in front of city hall, including Governor Phil Murphy, Mayor W. Reed Gusciora, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli, Trenton Council President Kathy McBride, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Hope Grant, Coach Al Jennings, Coach Bernice Mitchell, and many others were in attendance.
“To be an Olympian,” Mayor Gusciora said. “It has been said that as an athlete, you have to show strength, discipline, grit, and tenacious spirit to help achieve your goal. This resilience reflects the strength of our city. This is for the young of Trenton, who have a role model to follow, and they too can reach their dreams. We are all so proud of your accomplishments Athing.”
In her most recent race on Aug. 21, at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, Athing Mu won the 800-meter event with a time of 1:55.04, besting her own American record she had set at the Olympic Games
Speakers presented various gifts to Mu, including a $10,000 dollar scholarship, two keys to the city, and a puppy in the form of a pug given to her by her brother. Mu told the cheering crowd that she is proud to be from Trenton. “One thing I can say about Trenton is, we may not be the shiniest city, we have our ups and downs, but when someone does something amazing, we all come together,” she said.