Mayor-President Josh Guillory recognizes Acadiana Olympians with keys to city
Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory recognized a trio of Acadiana-based Olympians headed to Tokyo this month with keys to the city on Friday.
“We're so excited. We're just so proud of our athletes here,” Guillory said. “We're blessed to have three Olympians here in Acadiana, and we're just so proud of our community, proud of these guys, proud of their families. This is a team effort.”
Three local athletes are heading from Acadiana to Japan to compete in the Olympics this summer, all of whom have come through the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and will represent Team USA in Tokyo.
Meet the athletes:Morgann LeLeux of New Iberia finishes second in pole vault to make Tokyo Olympics
“It's definitely super, super exciting. It's been like a lifetime of work. And, I'm very blessed, very fortunate with the support system that I have to be able to make it this far,” said 26-year-old Aliaksei Shostak, who will compete in the men’s trampoline events.
Morgann Leleux, a 28-year-old New Iberia native who finished second in the USA qualifying events for pole vault, said that after competing in multiple Olympic trials to earn a spot on the national team, she is determined to bring home a medal now that she’s finally heading to her first Olympic competition.
“In 2016 I was the alternate, so I had to try on the uniform and go through the whole process, and I didn't get to go, so it means absolutely everything to me to be able to go this time,” Leleux said.
“We did this week of media, and next week it's time to get back focused and ready to go do something in Tokyo,” she added. “I don't want to just be an Olympian, I want to go for a medal.”
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Acadiana will also send 23-year-old gymnast Nicole Ahsinger to Tokyo this summer to compete in the female trampoline events for Team USA. Ahsinger said at Friday’s ceremony that after moving from California to Lafayette seven years ago her push to go to the Olympics has been bolstered by support.
“I moved here about seven years ago to train with Dmitri Poliaroush, my coach. He's an incredible coach. He's taught me so much throughout my career and I definitely wouldn't be here without them,” Ahsinger said.
“But I also have two families here that have created such an amazing space for me, and it's just like a great feeling, having so much love and having so much support.”
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