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Jake Dalton Gets Olympic Homecoming

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Sparks resident Jake Dalton may not have gotten an Olympic medal in London, but he is definitely getting honors at home.

Dalton was on the men's Olympic gymnastics team, which placed fifth overall in London. Dalton also placed fifth individually in the floor exercise. The gymnast returned home to Sparks Sunday night, and Mayor Geno Martini proclaimed Monday "Jake Dalton Day."

"We need to honor the people of Sparks who do great things," Martini said, "and I think this is one of the good ones."

"I didn't even know what to think," Dalton said of his hometown honors, "because just, all the support that I have from back home, it just really gives you the motivation to keep going and keep training."

Dalton was on the top of the agenda at the Sparks City Council meeting Monday. The mayor presented him with a medal to recognize his hard work in training for the 2012 Games.

Dalton grew up in Northern Nevada, and attended Spanish Springs High School. His parents own a gymnastics training facility in Sparks. Now he is a student at the University of Oklahoma. He has won medals in several national and international championships, but he says the Olympic games were always the goal. He describes them as "the experience of a lifetime."

"You just take everything as it goes," Dalton said, "and really just enjoy the process the whole time you're there. It is just about enjoying the experience and doing everything you can to compete at your best."

Dalton said he is taking a little time to be with friends and family now, but then it is right back into training for the summer games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Written by Arianna Bennett
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