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Olympian Elle Purrier St. Pierre receives warm welcome home

Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 6:01 PM EDT
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RICHFORD, Vt. (WCAX) - The last time Richford was cheering on Elle Purrier St. Pierre, she was racing in Tokyo.

And now that she’s back home, this small town is celebrating her achievements in a very big way.

“When I first pulled up, I started to tear up a bit, and it’s really humbling, and I don’t know, I’m just at a loss for words,” said Olympic track runner Elle Purrier St. Pierre.

Purrier St. Pierre is Richford’s first Olympian, and her hometown could not be prouder.

“Awesome, awesome. It’s just unbelievable that we know an Olympian,” said Betty Archambault of Berkshire.

She’s inspiring Vermonters of all ages to dream big.

“It’s inspiring to see that even if you come from a small town you can really be a star,” said John Viens of the Richford High School cross country team.

She is the 10th fastest 1500 meter runner in the world. Claiming that title takes running nearly a mile in four minutes and one second!

“She’s taken us on quite journey. It’s been a nice journey to follow her,” said Robert Archambault of Berkshire.

Richford’s pride for Purrier St. Pierre is contagious and feels full circle for her family.

“It’s very cool, it feels surreal. Were just so grateful for all the support in the community,” said Purrier St. Pierre’s sister, Jinny Rainville.

“It’s all exciting, and we’re so happy for her,” said Annie Purrier, Purrier St. Pierre’s mom.

And what’s a welcome home celebration in Vermont without a cow? Ellie the cow is from Pleasant Valley Farms, owned by the St. Pierre side of the family. Employee Hannah Miller says she’s grateful she’s gotten to watch both “Ellies” grow.

“She has gone so far with everything, she’s worked so hard, and just to know her, as well, it’s amazing,” said Miller.

Now, Purrier St. Pierre says she’s happily adjusting to life back in the Green Mountain State.

“I love my home, and I love my family and friends here, so I’ve really had a great month reflecting on my time in Tokyo and getting back to normal and doing the things I always have,” said Purrier St. Pierre.

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