Cheering Crowds Welcome Kavanaugh Home


Maggie Wall/KMXT

A cheering crowd turned up to meet Thursday afternoon’s jet and to welcome home Kodiak’s Special Olympic World champion. Christopher Kavanaugh won four medals in Athens, Greece for his power lifting performance.

KMXT’s Maggie Wall was at the airport to welcome the gold-medal athlete home.

(Gold comes home 4:35 "(cheering) World champion ….286 pounds. SOC")


That is the sound of people welcoming home Kodiak’s Special Olympics world champion…


Christopher Kavanaugh, wore his gold medal around his neck as he stepped off the afternoon Alaska Airlines jet.

No sooner had he gotten down the stairs and onto the tarmac and someone asked for a photo.

Kavanaugh was returning from the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece where he won four medals-including that big impressive one he wore for the flight home.

In all, Kavanaugh finished the power lifting competition with one gold, two silver and a bronze.

In the terminal, 30 or so people had come just to welcome Kavanaugh and his family home. It was a cheerful, happy crowd offering praise and wanting photos.

-((Little kids

Ever the generous, humble guy, Kavanaugh took the Olympic gold medal off his neck and passed it around for all to hold and examine:

-((Share the medal :26

Kavanaugh’s trip to Greece was the culmination of more than a year of hard training with weight lifting and body building champion Lindsey Knight. Knight says world championships are just brutal:

-((Lindsey Knight :27

While few at the airport knew the specifics of the competition, Betty Walters had actually been there and had returned earlier from Greece where she watch Kavanaugh compete:

-((Betty Walters :51

Unbelievable, amazing, so proud, those words were repeated again and again Thursday:

–((Kathy Watkins :16

That’s Kathy Watkins from the Learning Center at Kodiak College. She helped Kavanaugh get a job at John’s Heating Service. John Butler said he’s so proud of Kavanaugh that he gave everyone time off to meet him at the airport:

–((John Butler :25

Mike Dolph, a long-time supporter of the local Special Olympics program summed up what seemed to be everyone’s thoughts as they welcomed the gold medal athlete home:

-((Mike Dolph :20

Kavanaugh won his gold medal in the squat competition where he lifted 286 pounds.


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