Long Lots Welcomes A Hero Home

It’s always fun to return to your old elementary school.

Especially if it’s as an Olympic champion.

Fifteen years ago, Julia Marino was a Long Lots student. This morning — now an Olympic silver medalist — she was back.

Before the assembly, Julia and her mother Elaine posed with an “Einstein” costume the Olympian wore in 3rd grade.

Energy was high, as nearly 600 students, staff, central office administrators and PTA members gathered in the auditorium for the first school-wide meeting since COVID struck 2 years ago.

With the Olympic theme playing and Mark Carmody — her former phys. ed. teacher, still at the school — serving as host, Julia came on stage to thunderous applause.

Host Mark Carmody read student questions. Julia Marino answered them all, with honesty and humor.

Video clips showed Julia on her 2nd spectacular slopestyle snowboard run. Students also saw her great display of sportsmanship, piling on the New Zealand athlete who had just edged her out for the gold medal.

“Everyone wants to win. You go to the Olympics to get gold,” Julia told the crowd.

“But it’s so important to be there for your friends. Even if they do better than you, it’s great to support them.”

Superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice and Julia’s mother Elaine enjoyed the assembly.

Julia answered students’ questions too. They ranged from the names of former teachers, her birthday (September 11) and whether she’s married (no) to her favorite part of the Olympics (“hanging out with my friends from different countries”), what she’d do if she weren’t snowboarding (film and photography), her favorite subjects at Long Lots (PE and art), whether she’s still friends with Long Lots kids (yes!), her other sports (soccer, basketball, softball, skateboarding and more), her favorite video games (Nintendo Switch and Mario Kart), her biggest challenge (overcoming fear of hitting big jumps), and advice to new snowboarders (“get butt pads — you’ll fall a lot”).

After gifts of flowers and a Long Lots swag bag, principal Kim Ambrosio unfurled a sign honoring the Olympic champion. It will hang in the gym.

Principal Kim Ambrosio (far right) and the new sign.

The assembly ended with Julia joining in, as students sang the school song.

Once a Lion, always a Lion.

Julia Marino’s 5th grade writeup, in the Long Lots yearbook. How many elementary school students’ dreams come true?!

6 responses to “Long Lots Welcomes A Hero Home

  1. John & Kathy Brandt

    Young lady, having worked with and supported the US Olympic team for many years, the lasting sentiment for all Olympic athletes I’ve met is that there are no ex-Olympians. Once you’re an Olympian, you’re an Olympian for life. Julia, you’re part of an elite group. Wear the honor with pride. You’re now part of our collective history. Brava!

  2. Jack Backiel

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I wish I could have been there. June 1961 was the last time I was in Long Lots.

  3. Awesome Julia! Congratulations!!!

  4. David J. Loffredo

    I think in 5th grade I hoped to one day be the Good Humor Man….

  5. Bobbie Herman

    I never met Julia, but I’m so proud of her! When I was in fifth grade, I wanted to be the first woman President. I’m so glad I didn’t get elected.

  6. Elaine Marinno

    “Back to School Day” was awesome! Julia reunited with several of her teachers, which is further testament to the fact (my opinion) that LLS is a wonderful place. It is not just a school; it is an extension of home. I am so grateful that all of LLS celebrated Julia yesterday. And thank you, Dan, for being there to cover it!