Riverside native and Olympic swimmer Tyler Clary — who won the gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke at the London Games — will receive a rousing welcome home Saturday during a reception at Riverside City College.
Clary, a 2007 graduate of Poly High School, will be honored by friends, family and fans at the Riverside Aquatics Complex between 10 a.m. and noon.
He’s expected to share his Olympic experiences and speak to young swimmers about how to reach their full potential, organizers said.
More than 1,000 American flags will be flown around the aquatics facility as part of the event, which is expected to draw hundreds, including
swimmers from the “Starting Blocks” program initiated last year to provide swimming opportunities for disadvantaged youth. City and Riverside Unified School District officials are also slated to be on hand.
Clary took the gold on Aug. 2, when he finished the men’s 200-meter backstroke in a record 1:53.41. Japan’s Irie Ryosuke earned the silver, and Clary’s teammate, Ryan Lochte, took the bronze.
Leading up to the games, Clary caused a stir when he remarked to a newspaper reporter that he didn’t believe Michael Phelps worked as hard as him to win. Clary later apologized on Twitter.
Phelps went on to win four gold medals at the London Olympics, bringing his career total to 18 over the last 12 years.