“Thank you, Meghan, for giving kids, the children of Danvers, a reason for hope and belief, also for putting a positive light on the town of Danvers at a time when we could all use it,” said Cheryl Marshall, the former program manager for the Recreation Department and a close family friend.
“She’s not here today because she wants to show off,” said Marshall, Duggan’s former baby sitter, “she’s here today because she wants to thank every one of you.”
Duggan thanked her large circle of family and friends, called “Team Duggan,” the Danvers Recreation Department, local businesses, youth hockey coaches, the Danvers High hockey team and other supporters.
Her parents traveled to Sochi to watch her play, but her mother could barely watch the final game from the stands of the Bolshoy Ice Dome.
“I’ve watched enough hockey; I’m never comfortable with a hockey score until the final buzzer,” Mary Duggan said. She said it has been an amazing experience getting to know members of the team, who have visited the Duggan family in Danvers and who have become an extended family.
“I am so proud. I couldn’t be prouder,” Mary Duggan said. “And you know, she will never forget her roots. She will never forget where she came from.”
When Duggan recalled how she was rehashing the Olympics with her family the night before, she choked up. She recalled how a “random fan” had captured a picture of her walking out on the ice for the final game, grabbing the crest on the national team jersey.
“Wearing the “C” on my jersey,” Duggan said, “I was so proud to carry my team there. No one knew it but me, but in that moment, I was ready to go out and tackle this gold-medal game. I grabbed the crest of my jersey, and I looked down at it, and just said, you know what, I am so proud to be from this town of Danvers, I am so proud to be from the state of Massachusetts, and I am so proud to be American.”