Big Texas Welcome Home for Dana Vollmer

24-year old Olympic champ credits hometown support for success

By Mark Schnyder
|  Friday, Nov 1, 2013  |  Updated 11:55 AM CDT
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London Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer comes home to a Texas sized welcome in her hometown of Granbury

Mark Schnyder, NBC 5 Reporter

London Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer comes home to a Texas sized welcome in her hometown of Granbury

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They were packed on both sides of the road on the town square awaiting the guest of honor, the hometown Olympian, Dana Vollmer, who started her swimming career when she was five years old. 

Praise and pride came from everyone who came out to cheer on Vollmer. "How many small towns have a girl who's won three gold medals? That's so incredible to me," bragged Wayne Blair.

Blair's wife, Jolinda smiled ear to ear.  "A small town girl who's made it," said Jolinda Blair.  "We're so excited.  I substitute teach at an elementary school and kids think she's a hero.  It's wonderful."

People waved homemade signs including signs designed by NBC 5  while chanting "Dana, Dana."

We asked John Rogers what it means to have a world famous athlete from his town. "I think it'll take a long time for our heads to go back down to the right size," Rogers chuckled.

Vollmer cruised down the street in the back of a gold convertible with her husband absorbing an incredible personal moment.

"All the support I've had over the past eight years and then to come out here and have my whole town behind me and see all the little kids faces, it's really an honor," Vollmer told us during the parade.

Her mother, Cathy was in a jeep right behind her. "It's fantastic.," said Cathy Vollmer.  "I have tears in my eyes.  It's a good thing I have sunglasses on so they can't see."

The procession ended at the Granbury Convention Center where Vollmer was presented with a proclamation from Governor Rick Perry and a key to the City of Granbury among other honors.

Then Vollmer spoke for more than 40 minutes about what it took to win three gold medals including battling injury and self-doubt.

Vollmer and her husband will soon return to their current home in California.

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