Nick Baumgartner, a 2,800-person city, walked through Iron River with the medal in his neck and his dog by his side. He punched the air with his fist while people cheered for their hometown hero.
Baumgartner and Lindsey Jacobellis won the gold medal in mixed snowboardcross. This is an event where snowboarders race through obstacles.
After arriving at an airport in Wisconsin, Baumgartner stated that it was a 17-year journey and that there were many times when I could have given up.
A huge dump truck drove the parade, holding a sign that read "Welcome home Nick!" "Once a Wykon. Always a Wykon" is a sign that led the parade. It refers to the three-legged Wykon, which is the school's mascot.
To prepare for the event, students from local schools were allowed to leave school early. Anybody could join the line of vehicles provided they could reach the post office by 3 p.m.
Baumgartner was a football player at Northern Michigan University and has a large following due to his age -- the oldest snowboarder ever to win a medal -- positive attitude, determination, and desire to win in Beijing.