First Presidency congratulates gold medalists

The Summer Games are over but the glow left by the Olympic flame continues to shine as many members and Utahns congratulate champions in their midst.

The visit was just one stop in a string of events for the athletes since participating in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Sept. 15 through 30.

Along with Laura Berg, a Church member from California who also won gold as a member of the USA Softball Team, both Gardner and Williams received spectacular homecomings. (Please see Rulon Gardner's story on this page.)

Taylorsville City held a reception in honor of Williams, a forward for the WNBA Utah Starzz. At the event, Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt declared Oct. 13 Natalie Williams Day and State Sen. Mike Waddoups handed her a resolution congratulating her.

Berg, who also won gold in 1996 in Atlanta, Ga., was honored by a local elementary school and businesses in California. She also shared her Olympic experience with members of the Downey 3rd Ward, Downey California Stake, during a meeting. The victory, she said, "was more exciting the second time. We had to fight so hard to get it."

Berg said since her return home, hundreds of friends and family members have shared her excitement. "They are happy for me," she said. "I have received tons of E-mails from my friends and a lot of phone calls."

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