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Olympic gold medallist Joseph Sullivan will arrive in Picton on Sunday afternoon to share his success with the people of Marlborough.
The Picton Rowing Club champion rower will attend a foreshore celebration in his honour, arranged by his Club and the Marlborough District Council.
Joseph will be in Christchurch on Friday for the official Olympic homecoming parade but is returning to Marlborough at the weekend.
Mayor Alistair Sowman says Sunday will be the first chance for people here to see the young rower and his gold medal.
“We’re very lucky Joseph has been able to get home this quickly given the demands being made on our Olympic rowers. Everyone wants a piece of them but Joseph has made it a priority to get here, not only to share his victory with his wider family and supporters, but also with the public of Marlborough,” he said.
Mr Sowman says it should be a great atmosphere on the Picton foreshore and he expects people from all over the district will want to be there to see Marlborough’s first Olympic gold medal.
“There’s a real sense of pride in our whole region that our small town of Picton could produce one of the top performers at this year’s Olympics – Joseph, and Nathan Cohen in the double skulls, won not only the first gold medal but a decisive victory which proved to be a morale-boosting inspiration for the whole Olympic squad.”
The champion rower is due down on the foreshore at about 1.00 pm. He’ll be introduced to the crowd from the War Memorial steps.
Picton Rowing Club captain Keiran Gaudin says Joseph is not the kind of sportsman to want his own parade but he is very happy to sign autographs for kids and have his photo taken with them.
It’s expected that Joseph will be available for autographs and photographs on the foreshore for a couple of hours.