HIGH POINT, N.C., April 3, 2014 – She’s a hero to everyone in High Point – from children who are inspired by her athletic abilities, to adults who have watched her grow up in the city and excel at speed skating on a global level. Today, High Point University honored this hero, Olympic speedskater Heather Richardson, for her phenomenal achievements in athletics and beyond at a Hometown Hero Celebration hosted on campus.
“We are here today because High Point’s University takes seriously its role in this dynamic city,” said Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, in a packed Hayworth Fine Arts Center. “We celebrate our city and the people in it who do wonderful things. Today, we show Heather that we love her, that we admire her and that she’s brought our hometown much honor.”
Richardson’s recent World Cup Championships and Winter Olympic appearances have ignited a strong sense of pride in the community. For that reason, High Point City Councilman Britt Moore announced that today, April 3, will hereby be known as Heather Richardson Day in High Point.
“Being a lifelong High Pointer, this university makes me proud of folks like Heather and her achievements make me proud,” said Moore. “On behalf of the city, it is my pleasure to read this proclamation…which states April 3 is Heather Richardson Day in High Point.”
Finally, Richardson’s volunteer efforts to visit and raise the spirits of people battling cancer were applauded by local oncologist Dr. Bernard Chinnasami from Emerywood Hematology/Oncology.
“Heather makes everyone she visits with feel so special,” said Chinnasami. “It’s inspirational to see someone like Heather take time out of her incredibly busy schedule to reach out to others. What a great honor for us to have a hero who cares so much about people.”
For Richardson, her passion and dedication will remain in speed skating and helping others in the years to come.
“I always stay positive,” she told the crowd of more than 500 people who attended the event. “I love speed skating, so win or lose, I’m going to skate.”
Her parents and fiancé, Olympic gold medalist Jorrit Bergsma, accompanied her on stage at the end of the event when Qubein presented a key to the city of High Point to her. Afterward, the university served complimentary lunch to all attendees.