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Olympic medalist Taylor Manson to serve as grand marshal of Silver Bells parade

Olympic Bronze Medalist Taylor Manson
Posted at 5:08 PM, Nov 15, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Silver Bells In the City is a Lansing tradition. From the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony all the way to the electric light parade it's a celebration everyone wants to take part in.

And, this year, the parade's grand marshal is Lansing's very own Olympic medalist Taylor Manson.

"Honestly, I'm really honored. I never expected that to happen," Manson said.

Born and raised in Lansing, playing sports has always been a thing for Manson.

"I first started off doing cheerleading, and then a little bit of basketball and soccer. And then when I was about seven years old, I began running track," Manson said.

Around the age of nine or ten, she realized she could have a future running track.

"Watching the 2008 Olympics and seeing Sanya Richards-Ross and Allyson Felix running," Manson said. "I feel like that moment was when it kind of clicked like, okay, like I want to like be like them when I grow up."

Taylor Manson
Taylor Manson

Manson went on to run at East Lansing High School and had a decorated high school track career.

"It was a really good experience," Manson said. "The coaches there were very supportive and like, knew what my goals were. So like, I felt like they understood me, and the environment energy there was really positive. So I really enjoyed running there. And I think I ended up at the right high school overall."

She continued her track career at the University of Florida.

"Choosing the school, the University of Florida out of all my other choices, I felt like, I made the right decision. I'm right where I'm supposed to be. The coaches are really great and supportive. The teammates here are amazing and supportive. We're all like working hard. And it's a really positive environment," Manson said.

Taylor Manson competing for the University of Florida
Taylor Manson competing for the University of Florida

And this year at the age of 21, all her hard work and training paid off. She was able to live out her childhood dream, competing in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and bringing home a bronze medal in the 4x400-meter mixed relay.

"It was a really surreal feeling. "It was always my goal, but I guess I didn't realize how soon it can happen. You know, especially like, the first time trying out for a team you don't always, make it," Manson said. "My first Olympic experience. And I'm coming home with like, a bronze medal. It was a slight kind of, I was really, really happy, like tears of joy, you know? So, yeah, it was, it was quite the moment."

Taylor Manson competing in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics
Taylor Manson competing in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics

She says she appreciates all the support and love the community has given to her. And now she will get to join all of Lansing on Friday to celebrate the holiday season.

"As a kid, I will always go to Silver Bells and attend," Manson said. "Having that full-circle moment, like being able to attend as like a, just like watching the parade and actually being in this year, that'd be like, really, really cool. And I'm excited for it. And I can't wait to be there."

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