Last night, 21-year-old Ryan Murphy finally achieved his childhood dream of being an Olympic gold medalist. Murphy was raised and groomed to be an Olympian in Jacksonville where he attended Palmer Catholic Academy in Ponte Vedra Beach and the Bolles School in Jacksonville. On August 8, North Florida cheered as Murphy secured his first gold medal in the men’s 100-meter backstroke at the Rio Olympics.
This afternoon we spoke with Linda Earp, principal of Palmer Academy, media specialist Gail Kindle, and art teacher Katie Corrigan who remember Murphy from his grade school days. “We always knew he would great,” they joyfully echoed.
Recalling a “Reading Rainbow” writing contest assignment she gave to young Murphy, Kindle said he wrote in a school book how he would one day be an Olympic athlete. “I knew way back when he would be touching that wall for a gold medal,” she said when asked what she would say to Murphy today as he mounts the world’s stage as an Olympic gold medalist.
“He was good as gold!” shouted Katie Corrigan, Murphy’s former 5th grade teacher.