Athletes from Maryland dominated the Rio Olympics, and they’ve been getting their due at Nationals Park. Katie Ledecky threw out the first pitch before Wednesday’s loss to the Orioles, and she was followed by another Montgomery County native, wrestler Helen Maroulis, who was honored before Thursday’s series-ender.
Both gold medalists enjoyed noteworthy moments on the field, beginning with Ledecky, who memorably handed Bryce Harper her many medals before tossing a strike to home plate. Not to be outdone, Maroulis used Teddy Roosevelt to show off the strength that earned her the first U.S. Olympic gold for a female wrestler.
Maroulis helped out with the finish line for the Presidents Race, which was won by Teddy. That may have been an uplifting experience for the mustachioed mascot, but it was nothing compared to what happened immediately afterwards, when he was literally lifted up by the Olympian.
— Teddy Roosevelt (@Teddy26Nats) August 26, 2016
Maroulis is 5-foot-3 and about 120 pounds, but in her arms Teddy didn’t appear to weigh any more than the gold medal she proudly brought with her. As if to prove the feat was no fluke, she also enjoyed a Prez-hoisting photo-op inside the stadium.
One thing Maroulis did not do Thursday was throw out the first pitch, but she was given an autographed ball in a ceremony before the game. The 24-year-old Magruder High product made history when she defeated legendary Japanese wrestler Saori Yoshida, the three-time defending Olympic champion, to finish atop the podium in Rio.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 25, 2016
— USA Wrestling (@USAWrestling) August 25, 2016
— SCREECH (@ScreechTheEagle) August 25, 2016
Presumably, at some point the Nats will honor another history-making gold medalist wrestler from Maryland, Kyle Snyder. Perhaps Teddy can have the 225-pound heavyweight help him win the Presidents Race — by carrying him the whole way.