Sparta community welcomes home one of its own after competing in 2022 Olympic games

An Olympian from New Jersey was welcomed home by her Sussex County community on Friday.

News 12 Staff

Feb 12, 2022, 3:40 AM

Updated 856 days ago

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An Olympian from New Jersey was welcomed home by her Sussex County community on Friday.
Sparta Town Hall was lit up in yellow, blue and red – the colors of the Ecuadorian flag – in honor of Sparta’s own Sarah Escobar.
“I had no idea that I would come home to this,” Escobar said when she arrived at Town Hall.
Friends and family gathered to welcome her home after she competed in the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Escobar represented Ecuador in the winter games as a skier. She was raised in New Jersey, but has dual citizenship between the United States and Ecuador. She was the first female skier, first female flag-bearer, and only competitor for Ecuador in the 2022 games.
“We are Ecuadorian's who came to this country a long time ago,” said Escobar’s mother Elena Escobar. ” We wanted to give our kids opportunities and we moved to New Jersey precisely because we liked the schools, we liked the sports...the opportunities that were here.”
Sarah Escobar turned 20 years old on Feb. 1 while at the Olympics. She says that being a part of the event was the best birthday present.
“I'm so honored to represent Sparta, New Jersey at the Winter Olympics. I'm proud to represent my country my parents were born into. I'm proud of all the Ecuadorians. And when I was bearing that flag, I thought of everybody,” she says.
Escobar says that she has been dreaming about this moment since she was a toddler.
“It means so much to me. What’s every athlete without support?” Escobar asks.
Escobar is currently in college and wants to get a degree in counseling or sports psychology. She is also already thinking about qualifying for the next winter Olympics in Italy in 2026


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