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Rocklin Academy joins Olympic celebration

Fifth-graders look on as Governor honors California’s finest athletes
By: Staff report
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It was a field trip of dreams for 60 Rocklin Academy fifth-graders and their teachers. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his staff invited the students to join him recently to honor a group of California Olympians just back from Beijing. “You should have seen the kids,” said Marcie Dart, Academy fifth-grade teacher. “They were so excited; you would have thought we told them there was no homework for the rest of the school year.” One month after Olympic opening ceremonies in Beijing, the fifth-graders and their teachers, Dart and Ms. Nicole Guaglianone, sat on the Capitol steps for a briefing from the Governor’s advance detail. The Governor’s staff led students through the Capitol rotunda to line the hallways and cheer as KCRA Channel 3 Sports Director Del Rodgers introduced the event. “Standing in the hall waiting to see the Governor was so exciting and nerve racking,” said Jake Gallo, 10. “Everyone was chanting ‘USA! USA!’ and I couldn’t believe I was really going to see the Governor. It was so cool; he came by and gave me a high-five. His hands are huge.” Schwarzenegger led a parade of California Olympians with triple-gold medalist from the 1968 summer games, Debbie Meyer. Former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and his wife Charlotte were the Governor’s special guests. Of the nine Olympians honored: bronze medalist in swimming, Larsen Jensen; gold medalists in rowing, Erin Cafaro and Mary Whipple; silver medalist in women’s volleyball, Heather Brown; silver medalists in women’s water polo Natalie Golda and Heather Petri; water polo silver medalist Jeff Powers; silver medalist in equestrian, Gina Miles and bronze medalist in baseball, John Gall. The most medals of any state in the U.S. were won by California athletes said the Governor. After the ceremony Rocklin Academy students were invited to get autographs and take photographs with the Olympians. “I was overwhelmed to be able to meet an Olympic athlete in person,” said Gallo, “And when Larsen put his medal around my neck, I knew it was a once in a lifetime moment I will never forget.”