It was a day of pomp and circumstance in Westfield as the city welcomed home Kacey Bellamy, the now three-time Olympic medalist with the United States women's national ice hockey team.
It’s a day Bellamy won’t soon forget, being welcomed back home as a hero and gold medalist.
“It's nice to know that your hard work gets rewarded. It's all worth it, win or lose, but it's nice that it pays off,” Bellamy said.
It was a sight that hundreds wanted to behold as Bellamy was escorted through the city in a car matching her accomplishment.
“It's special because not many people watch women's hockey and then to finally see Team USA win a gold medal, they then get the attention to it,” Bellamy said.
[Related: More photos from Kacey Bellamy's homecoming!]
Signs, congratulating her on the victory, lined the street. Even more was awaiting her at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield along with adoring fans, proud to have their hero home.
“I think today, the most important thing, is being able to share the medal with all of the supporters, everyone from Westfield and Western Mass,” Bellamy told us.
Jude Scibelli of Agawam has greeted Bellamy on her return twice in the past with each of those trips bringing silver medals. Like her, though, he says this year is different, after at last defeating Canada in the gold medal match which came down to the final seconds.
“I thought they had a really good team this year and they were going to go out and do really good,” Scibelli said. “They did really good, but then it went to a shootout and everyone gets nervous in a shootout because anything can happen.”
Now, he’s looking to remember this historic team’s achievements with the signatures of the gold medal team members who fill this canvas photograph.
Today, he got Bellamy’s, but tomorrow?
“Meghan Duggan’s tomorrow, going to see her,” Scibelli said.
As for Bellamy, she’ll be getting some much needed rest and relaxation in the coming months.
However, she tells us that she won’t be hanging up the jersey just yet.
“We'll see. I felt really good this Olympics. I think it was my most fun. I just said 'I wanted to play for the little girl that was 5 years old with a dream,' and I did that,” Bellamy said. “I really feel good about it and we'll see what happens.”
Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.