Metro and LA 2024 to Honor Long Beach Resident, Gold Medalist Lisa Fernandez • Long Beach Post

lisa-fernandez3On the night of opening ceremonies (to begin at 4:00PM via livestream and 7:30PM tonight on NBC), it is fitting that Metro announced its celebration of past Olympians at various stations throughout Los Angeles County, including Long Beach.

“If the Olympic movement were to build a city on the ideals of equality, diversity, and cooperation, that city would be Los Angeles,” said L.A. Mayor and Metro Board First Vice Chair Eric Garcetti. “These champions embody that spirit—and their presence, along with the historic improvements we are making to our transit system, sends a message to the world that we are more than ready to welcome the Games to our city for a third time.”

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Metro will honor three-time Gold Medalist and retired softball player Lisa Fernandez on August 17 at Long Beach’s downtown station (128 West 1st Street) between 4:30 and 6:30PM. 

Fernandez, who currently resides in Long Beach and is the assistant softball coach at UCLA, grew up in Lakewood and won gold at the 1996 games in Atlanta, the 2000 games in Sydney and the 2004 games in Athens. Fernandez also led UCLA to two national championships (1990 and 1992) and two runner-up finishes (1991 and 1993).

On the day of Fernandez’s honoring, fans can meet and greet Olympic champions, see gold medals, and receive autographs and take pictures with the former athletes.

Metro said it was celebrating the Olympians as a means of highlighting Los Angeles’ transportation in infrastructure in conjunction with LA 2024, which is campaigning for the righ tto host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Los Angeles has played host to the games on two occasions, in 1938 and 1984.

“Since the last time our region hosted an Olympiad, L.A. County has built 105 miles of modern, efficient rail transit with expansions underway that will connect to LAX and Westwood,” said Metro Chair John Fasana in a statement. “Add to that substantial highway improvements completed and under construction and L.A. has a lot to offer the IOC.”

“Los Angeles is putting together all the necessary pieces to be a Games-ready city,” said LA2024 CEO Gene Sykes. “I encourage everyone to come meet the gold medalists and show the Olympic spirit that would make LA a uniquely warm and welcoming host city in 2024.”

The complete list of Olympians honored by Metro include:

August 5 | Metro El Monte Bus Station – 3501 Santa Anita Ave., El Monte 91731
Paul Gonzales

  • Gold Medalist Boxing Light Flyweight 1984 Los Angeles Games
  • Val Barker Trophy – top pound-for-pound boxer of the Games

August 8 | Union Station – 801 N. Vignes, Los Angeles, 90012
Shirley Babashoff

  • 3-time Gold Medalist Swimming 1972 Munich Games and 1976 Montreal Games
  • 8 total Olympic Medals
  • 2005 Olympic Order – Highest honor of the Olympic Movement

August 9 | Sierra Madre Villa Station of the Metro Gold Line – 149 N. Halstead St., Pasadena 91107
John Naber

  • 4 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Swimming 1976 Montreal Games
  • Each gold was won in world record time

August 10 | Culver City Station of the Metro Expo Line – 8817 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 90232
John Naber

  • 4 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Swimming 1976 Montreal Games
  • Each gold was won in world record time

August 11 | North Hollywood Station of the Metro Red Line – 5391 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood 91601
Julianne McNamara

  • Gold Medal Uneven Parallel Bars 1984 Los Angeles Games – Score of perfect 10.0
  • Silver Medal Team Competition 1984 Los Angeles Games

August 12 | Atlantic Station of the Metro Gold Line – 5150 E. Pomona Blvd., Los Angeles 90022
Brenda Villa

  • Gold Medalist Women’s Water Polo 2012 London Games
  • 2 Olympic Silver Medals and 1 Olympic Bronze Medal

August 15 | Chatsworth Station of the Metro Orange Line – 21501 Lassen Street, Chatsworth 91311
Rafer Johnson

  • Gold Medal Decathlon 1960 Rome Games “World’s Greatest Athlete”
  • Flag bearer for the United States team at 1960 Rome Games
  • Silver Medal Decathlon 1956 Melbourne Games

August 16 | 7th Street/Metro Center – 600 St. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles 90017
Valerie Brisco

  • 3 Gold Medals 200 meters, 400 meters, 4×400 meters relay 1984 Los Angeles games
  • Silver Medal 4×400 meters dash 1988 Seoul games

August 17 | Downtown Long Beach Station of the Metro Blue Line – 128 W. 1st Street, Long Beach 90802
Lisa Fernandez

  • 3-time Gold Medal winner Softball, 1996 Atlanta Games, 2000 Sydney Games and 2004 Athens Games.

August 18 | APU/Citrus College Station of the Metro Gold Line – 905 N. Citrus Ave., Azusa 91702
Bryan Clay

  • Gold Medal Decathlon 2008 Beijing Games “World’s Greatest Athlete”
  • Silver Medal Decathlon 2004 Athens Games

August 19 | Downtown Santa Monica Station of the Metro Expo Line – 402 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica 90401
Mark Spitz

  • 9-time Gold Medalist swimming 1968 Mexico City Games and 1972 Munich Games
  • Won 7 Gold Medals in 1972 – a record that held for 36 years
  • All 7 Gold Medals in 1972 won in world record times – never equaled

Above, left: Image courtesy of

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