Watching this year’s Olympics has hit close to home for a Connecticut woman. Her late mother won a gold medal in swimming the last time the games were in London back in 1948.
That Olympic gold medal was one of Marie Corridon Mortell’s greatest accomplishments.
“It's a treasure, it's really a lost treasure,” said her daughter Kate Mortell.
She helped put that treasure on display at the Norwalk YMCA. That is where Corridon Mortell learned how to swim and gained the desire to pursue an Olympic dream.
“It's part of history…Norwalk, Connecticut history that most don't know,” Mortell added.
She said now was the best time for locals to learn about that part of history as they watch this year’s swimming events in the same country where Corridon Mortell won 64 years ago.
“It helps to remember where they are, it's a special place and there’s potential right where their feet are,” Mortell explained.
Now that the Olympics are here, the Norwalk YMCA has started to teach the kids about this local champion, in the hopes it would inspire them to swim and be competitive in the sport.
“It shows that local people who had a dream like this and who are able to achieve it, and maybe it’s possible for me too,” Mortell said.
The head of the swimming program told NBC Connecticut it had already made a difference.
“We have more kids swimming today. They're excited about the Olympics,” swimming director Lynn Wheeler said.
The family of this late champion has been grateful to see that excitement as they keep the memory of her Olympic gold alive.
“She was really proud. It was something she held dear to her heart,” Mortell said.
The gold medal will be on display at the Norwalk YMCA until the this year’s summer games come to an end.