CLOVIS, California. (KSEE) – An Olympian with Central Valley roots gets a heartwarming send-off. Dozens of Clovis residents lined up early Saturday morning at Mickey Cox Elementary to pick up exclusive swag to support track star Jenna Prandini.
Prandini grew up in Clovis and attended Mickey Cox Elementary School. On Saturday morning, Prandini’s family and staff at Mickey Cox gave away yard signs saying ‘Go Jenna Go!’ so the Clovis community could show support to their hometown hero. Prandini’s brother was touched by the dozens who showed up to get a yard sign.
“It’s really heartwarming and nice to see everybody supporting Jenna,” said Mark Prandini. “They got people from her elementary school, her middle school, and high school all here, and a bunch of people around the community getting signs, so it’s cool.”
One of Prandini’s first track coaches, Bob Fox, coached her while she was at Mickey Cox. Fox says he knew Prandini was destined for Olympic-level success even at a young age.
“She was the best I’ve ever seen at her age, she had God-given talent and worked harder than any other athlete I coached,” Fox said. “I’m very proud of her and she deserves what she’s getting because she’s worked harder than anyone I’ve seen.”
This will be Prandini’s second Olympic Games. After participating in the Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Prandini donated her uniform and track cleats she wore while competing with Mickey Cox Elementary. They are proudly on display in the school’s front office.
“I don’t know anybody personally that’s been in the Olympics, and I think I can speak for a lot of people in Clovis,” said Cheryl Floth, principal at Mickey Cox. “To have a local kid and a kid go through this school and know her and see her grow up and know her family very well as being a Clovis family, it’s pretty awesome.”
Floth feels Prandini’s story is inspiring the next generation making their way through Clovis schools.
“It just teaches our kids that if you have a goal, and you have the ability to accomplish that goal, you can do it,” she said. “And to see it right out in front and so close and personal really has to be an inspiration for all of Clovis”
Prandini will be competing in both 100 and 200-meter track and field events in Tokyo.