WEST NYACK, N.Y. -- West Nyack Olympian and rugby star Ryan Carlyle may not have received a gold medal in Rio, but she did receive gold star treatment from family, friends and local officials during a special congratulatory ceremony last week in West Nyack.
Hosted by Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski to recognize the Clarkstown South graduate for her participation in the 2016 Summer Olympics, Carlyle's friends and family gathered on the County Courthouse lawn underneath a tremendous American flag, presented courtesy of the West Nyack and New City fire departments, to celebrate her historic achievement.
Carlyle made a historic debut as rugby was played in the Olympics for the first time since 1924. This was also the first time Rugby Sevens was an event in the games, and the first time in history women competed in the sport.
“It is my complete privilege to have had the opportunity to pay recognition to Ryan, who has made Rockland so proud. She truly is the example of what hard work and dedication can amount to; not only making it to the Olympics, but making history and paving the way for other athletes to have the opportunity to compete in the Rugby Sevens event, and even more groundbreaking, women. I have no doubt that she will go on to do great things and I thank her for being a wonderful example of what can come out of Rockland County and New York State,” said Zebrowski.
Carlyle's rugby career began after years at excelling at several other sports, including softball, basketball, soccer and indoor track making all-county and all-region all four years in high school, in addition to being named an All-American softball shortstop.
After going to the University of South Carolina to play softball, she discovered rugby and had been quickly recognized by national and international teams. Carlyle went on to win national championships and World Cup Sevens before making the 12-player Olympic team and history. The team came in fifth place and Carlyle, proving herself a true asset, was able to regain possession of the ball in one of the team's last games with under a minute left to give the U.S. a scoring chance.
"It was an absolute pleasure to have joined Assembly member Zebrowski to honor a West Nyack native, Ryan Carlyle. There are very few people that can say they competed in the Olympics, let alone for the Rugby Sevens Women's Team," said Sen. David Carlucci. "This is a major accomplishment, and it was a pleasure to meet Ryan and recognize her hard work and dedication. She is a role model that continues to achieve and I am ecstatic that we were able to present her with a certificate of appreciation."
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