September 26 2018

Burlington Honoring Gold Medal Winners in Olympics and Special Olympics

By: Rich Hosford

Burlington is taking pride in its gold medal winning athletes from the past and recent past with two special ceremonies.


On Saturday, September 29 and 1 p.m. there will be a special event in honor of Kevin O’Neill, a Burlington resident who in 1979 won a Gold Medal in the 50 meter dash in the International Summer Special Olympics in Brockport, New York. At the time the town did not have a special recognition for O’Neill and town leaders want to make it up to him 39 years later.


O’Neill, who was 14 when he won the medal, also placed fourth in the Standing Broad Jump event. He was one of 90 Special Olympians from Massachusetts to participate in that year’s games. The International Summer Special Olympics features athletes from 37 countries who compete in a variety of events including track and field, soccer, swimming and gymnastics.


The second ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 3 at 6 p.m. on the Burlington Town Common and will feature the unveiling of an Olympic Plaque for 2018 Women's Hockey Team member and Burlington resident Kali Flanagan. Kali’s plaque will be joining other Burlington Olympians on the town’s Olympic Stone.


Flanagan is the first Gold Olympian from Burlington. She will be joined on the Common by Burlington’s other Olympians -  Peter and Kitty Carruthers who won the silver medal in paris figure skating in 1984 as well as Mark and Scott Fusco who skated for the US men’s hockey team and Gary Piantedosi, a member of the 1976 Olympics Rowing Team.


In 2009, Flanagan played varsity hockey for Burlington High as an eighth grader. For high school she attended the Nation Sports Academy in Lake Placid, N.Y but returned to her native Burlington to graduate before going to Boston College.


“Please come show your support for Kali as her plaque is unveiled,” an invite for the event states. “State Representative Ken Gordon will open the ceremonies with a few words and our former Olympians will be formally recognized and offered an opportunity to share a few words for Kali.”


Refreshments and autographs at Town Hall after the ceremony.  


Kali Flanagan, Courtesy Photo 

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