NCAA Champion Swimming Teams Honored at the Alabama Governor's Mansion
-- May 7, 2003
AUBURN, Ala, May 7. THE NCAA champion Auburn men's and women's swimming and diving teams traveled to Montgomery on Wednesday as Governor Bob Riley welcomed the team's to the Governor's Mansion for a reception to honor the team's sweep of the NCAA titles.
"It is truly and honor to have champions like you in our house," Governor Riley said. "You make us proud. And you make this entire state proud."
Joined by his wife, Patsy, on the steps that lead to the second floor of the mansion, Governor Riley reflected back on his children's swimming experiences and his true fondness of the sport before marveling at what the two Auburn teams had accomplished.
"I am not sure you can completely comprehend just how good you really are," Riley continued. "You will forever be able to say that you are the best * and not many people in this world can do that."
The reception, which lasted a little over an hour, included the presentation of proclamations from both the Alabama State Senate and Congress that were passed to honor the teams. The Auburn swim teams also presented the Governor with gifts, which included a framed AU lane pennant that was flanked on both sides by team pictures of both squads at Toomer's Corner as well as NCAA Champion t-shirts.
The trip was especially special for three of the Auburn swimmers as senior Joe Gonzalez (Mobile), sophomore Margaret Hoelzer (Huntsville) and freshman Amy Wheatley (Montgomery) each got to meet and talk with their home-state governor.