‘Awesome’ to be home, Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy says

UPDATE @ 8 p.m. (Sept. 30): “It’s an awesome feeling to be home,” Clayton Murphy said after disembarking from the red Corvette that carried in along the route of the parade held to herald his homecoming.

The screams he heard Friday as he was being driven through the main street of New Madison in Darke County were not unlike the screams of support he heard and read via Facebook and Twitter when he was winning the Olympic 800-meter bronze in Brazil this summer.

“I could say I heard their screams in Rio,” Murphy told News Center 7’s Natalie Jovonovich. “It was awesome to see that, to hear that.”

Murphy, who keeps what sounds like a non-stop schedule of running events, has been on an airplane just as much in the days and months following the Games.

Recently, he has competed in New York, Belgium and France. Before arriving for the parade, Murphy had been to the White House and drove to Cedarville earlier Friday to watch the University of Akron cross country team compete at the All-Ohio Championships.

All of it has been and will be awesome, Murphy said (he uses that word a lot), but adds that it’ll be nice when things slow down.

But before he slows down, Murphy said he plans to graduate in May, run the indoor track season that beging in January (he races for Nike), and compete in the world championships in London in August.

And then there’s the matter of the Summer Games in Tokyo in 2020.

“It’s going to be awesome to represent them (the city and the town of New Madison) every time I step on the track and know that I have an entire town behind me.”

Jovonovich and other reporters asked Murphy to issue a few words of encouragement to young people. He kept it simple: Find something you’re passionate about, he said.

“I found out that running is my passion and I ran with it.”

EARLIER REPORT (Sept. 30)

Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy will be honored by his hometown today.

Last month, the Tri-Village graduate became the first American in 24 years to medal in the 800-meter run.

The festivities will begin with a community parade starting at 6 p.m. in New Madison, escorting Murphy down Main Street. The parade will start at the north end of town in the Snack Shop area.

The parade will conclude at 6:20 p.m. at Tri-Village High School, and Murphy will then address the football team.

The on-field recognition ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. prior to kickoff.

After the ceremony at 7:15 p.m., there will be a meet and greet with Murphy in the courtyard area, where he will be available for pictures and autographs.

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