Albuquerque welcomes Olympic skateboarder back home

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Dozens of families and fellow skaters came out for a "welcome home celebration" after Mariah Duran’s historic journey to the Tokyo Olympics. Mayor Tim Keller gave a big surprise.

More than a hundred people got together at North Domingo Skate Park to give Mariah Duran a warm welcome home.

“On behalf of the City of Albuquerque as your elected mayor, August 14th, 2021 is now ‘Mariah Duran Day’ in the Duke City,” said Keller.

Albuquerque’s Parks and Recreation Director Dave Simon said Duran is living proof that hard work really does pay off, no matter where you end up.

"Not everyone can be an Olympian, but everyone can find their best self when they learn to dedicate and work and enjoy something they love, but you know what, our goal too is to improve all of these facilities, so we can build more Olympians here from Albuquerque,” said Simon.

Duran said she knows she’s already paving the way for those future champions.

"I believe that every little kid has the right to find their own inspiration, I think I’m definitely a gateway to open the door, kind of just like, show what’s actually possible,” she said.

She’s not just a role model for little kids.

"And you know, you did inspire me to hop on a board for the first time in at least 15 years, and that was fun, it’s still really fun," said Keller.

Duran said she has a few more competitions lined up later this year, but she’s already got her eye on the 2024 summer games in Paris.

"That’s definitely a goal of mine for sure, absolutely. Until then, I’m just going to live my life and win over every day as best as I can,” said Duran.