Celebration planned to welcome home Olympic Medalist Torrez

The community of Tulare is elated to announce the Welcome Home Celebration of the hometown hero, Richard Torrez, Jr., Olympic Super Heavyweight Boxing Silver Medalist.  The festivities will kick off on Saturday, August 21 at 6:30 pm with a motorcade from where his boxing career began, the Tulare Athletic Boxing Club that his grandfather was instrumental in starting, and end at Bob Mathias Stadium.

A special ceremony will be held at the stadium beginning at 7:00 pm to give the Olympian the recognition he deserves.  Everyone is encouraged to attend wearing red, white, and blue to show Torrez, Jr. how proud the town, county, state and country is of all he accomplished.  “We can’t overstate the enormity of Richard Torrez, Jr.’s accomplishment.  To get a silver medal on the world stage that is the result of hard work and effort is just amazing.  The reaction of our community makes it clear that we are very proud of him,” said City of Tulare Mayor Dennis Mederos.

Torrez, Jr. is a Tulare native who attended Palo Verde School and Mission Oak High School.  His alma maters are extremely proud of his accomplishments.  Both will have a presence in the motorcade and ceremony.  The entire district will be integral in the celebration.  Additionally, Mission Oak High School will hold a rally in honor of his accomplishments.  “The Tulare Joint Union High School District takes immense pride in the success of its graduates.  We are honored to be able to celebrate our Olympian and alumnus Richard Torrez, Jr.  Richard is an inspiration to our students and living proof we should dream big, set our goals high, and work hard to achieve them,” commented Superintendent, Dr. Lucy Van Scyoc.

According to the Tulare History Newsletter, “Torrez Jr. comes from a long line of notable Tulareans. It all began with his great grandfather, Juan Torrez, who emigrated from Fresnillo Zacatecas, Mexico in 1920 and was awarded the Medal of Merit for his bravery during the Mexican Revolution. His grandfather, Manuel Torrez, was the southwest (USA) Golden Gloves boxing champion, and his father, Richard Torrez Sr., was the 1984 Olympic trialist.

“His father is also his boxing coach, just as his grandfather coached his father in the early 1970s. Richard Torrez Sr. trained in a make-shift boxing gym fashioned out of a carport, and never imagined that one day he would become a world class athlete, representing his country in international competitions. Now it is his son’s turn to continue that same legacy of greatness.”

“Richard is a phenomenal young man who has achieved one of the greatest honors.  Our community is  beyond proud and we can’t wait honor him.   Tulare is an amazing place to live and it is occasions like this that make it undeniable,” said Donnette Silva Carter, Tulare Chamber of Commerce CEO.

The motorcade will travel north on O Street from the Tulare Athletic Boxing Club located at 1331 South O Street.  The procession will then go east on Kern Avenue to the stadium.  Gates will open at Bob Mathias Stadium at 6:00 pm.  The gates will close at 7:00 pm or when capacity is reached. So, please arrive early. It is highly recommended to enter the area on Kern Avenue from Blackstone Street as there will be a street closure on O Street due to the motorcade. Street parking will be available as well as parking at Wilson School. The cemetery will also be available for overflow parking.

Richard Torrez, Jr. is overwhelmed by the support the community has shown for him upon returning home from winning the Silver Medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Out of gratitude, he has chosen to take photos with attendees at his welcome home celebration this Saturday night. The ceremony will begin at 7:00 pm and photos with Torrez, Jr. will be available after the ceremony. In an effort to get through all attendees who desire a photograph, one photo will be taken per person or group.

For more information, please call the Tulare Chamber of Commerce at (559) 686-1547.

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