NC Olympian chooses hometown welcome over invite by the Obamas.

Screen shot 2014-04-04 at 10.53.57 AMHeather Richardson is the only winter Olympian that was from North Carolina to compete in the 2014 Sochi Games.  The city of High Point held a reception for the Olympian and her family on campus of High Point University.

High Point University president Nido Qubein hosted a “Hometown Hero Celebration” for Richardson, her Olympic medal-winning fiancé Jorrit Bergsma and Richardson’s parents, Jeff and Pat.  Inside, a standing-room-only crowd of more than 500 filled the main theater and its second- and third-floor balconies.

The Richardson’s chose to attend this event over a White House invitation.

The 25-year-old speedskater chose home over the White House. Barack and Michelle Obama hosted an afternoon reception for 200 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic team members Thursday in Washington.

Richardson shared with the crowd her disappointment of not placing as high as she had hoped.

Richardson, the top-rated 1,000-meter sprinter in the world, shared her heartbreak of finishing seventh at the Olympics and her joy of winning the World Cup season title March 16.

“I had such high expectations for myself, and after the 1,000 meters when I looked up and saw I wasn’t quite there, going through the media zone was definitely an emotional thing for me,” Richardson said. “I was trying to stay positive. It was hard to keep myself together. After the media zone, I cried and cried. Then, two weeks later, I was back on top. You just have to stay positive.”

To read more about this, click here for the entire article and photos from the event.

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