Williams Lake celebrated Kayla Moleschi’s Olympic accomplishments and gave her a warm welcome home Saturday.
After a small parade accompanied the Canadian Women’s Rugby Sevens Team bronze medalist from city hall to Marie Sharpe Elementary School, people congregated on the school field for a celebration.
Kayla received accolades from MLA Donna Barnett, Mayor Walt Cobb, Lake City Secondary School principal Gregg Gaylord, one of her former rugby coaches Mauro Calabrese and Darcy Patterson from BC Rugby.
“Obviously she’s had some great effort to go along with her talent,” Calabrese said. “Not everyone’s going to have her athletic ability but with some hard work you can go a long way.”
Patterson presented her with a large banner signed by every girl that played in the BC Summer Games, as well as a jersey from BC Rugby with Kayla’s number 2 on it.
Fighting back the tears, Kayla said it was amazing to see the support of the whole town.
“You guys have been following me my whole journey, and a lot of you my whole life,” she said. “I owe a lot to you guys and am truly grateful for everything you have done.”
She thanked her parents Andrea and Ron, saying she would have never made it where she is without them.
“You guys have always taught me to love with all my heart and to give everything that I have into anything I love and dream for.”
After the speeches, Kayla shared her medal with people who wanted a photograph taken with her while local rugby players, coaches and Patterson gave children a taste of the game and its skills in a workshop.
The party closed with a touch rugby game where Kayla eventually joined in for a few minutes.
“The celebration was more than I ever expected,” Moleschi said as it came to a close. “Thank you so much guys, you mean the world to me.”
Watch next week’s Tribune for full coverage of the event