Dover already has a connection to a number of Olympians, and the Dover 400 committee is looking for more as part of the upcoming Dover 400 celebration.

Beth Fischer of the Dover Recreation Advisory Board is spearheading the search, and thought the celebration would be a good chance to bring attention it.

"There was talk of doing a search and finding out who else is out there who might have been an Olympian that has some Dover connection," Fischer told Seacoast Current. "If we're going to acknowledge them, then we oughta cast a wide net."

This includes the World Olympics, Para Olympics, or Special Olympics World Games as far back as anyone can remember, as long as their involvement can be proven.

Dover native Jessica Parratto poses with her silver medal Tuesday evening at Henry Law Park in Dover
Dover native Jessica Parratto poses with her silver medal Tuesday evening at Henry Law Park in Dover. (Shawn St. Hilaire)
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A City Already Rich in Olympians

The city had connections to two silver medalists during the Summer Games in Tokyo in August.

Native Jessica Parratto won a silver medal in the women’s 10-meter platform synchronized diving competition at the Summer Games in Tokyo in August, while Liza Corso took home the silver in the women's 1,500 meter at the Paralympic Games. The Newmarket resident is a graduate of Portsmouth Christian Academy.

Other Olympians from Dover include swimmer Jessica Thompson and runner Cathy Shiro O'Brien.

The search committee has already been made aware of a marathoner from 1948 whose children have made contact. There's also a competitor in the upcoming Special Olympics World Games.

The Olympians do not have to be Dover natives, but the connection needs to a reasonable one.

"We're having that conversation because somebody might come forward that went to UNH and lived in Dover for a semester their freshman year, and then when they were 35 they became an Olympian," Fishcher said. "The idea is to honor people for their accomplishments and they have to have some kind of Dover connection."

Jenny Thompson at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia
Jenny Thompson at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia ( Al Bello /Allsport)
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How to honor the Dover Olympians

Fischer said that after the entries are reviewed and vetted, representatives from Dover Main Street, Dover 400, and the Dover Recreation Committee will discuss the next step in recognizing the athletes.

"Are we going to banners? Do a marker? Are we going to hang things off the 'welcome to Dover' signs? How are we going to acknowledge this?", Fischer said.

One idea under consideration is to bring all the athletes to Dover and have them be part of the planned Dover 400 parade around the Fourth of July in 2023.

The deadline to submit an entry is March 15. Entries can be sent to olympianproject@dover.nh.gov and should include:

  • Olympian’s name
  • Connection to Dover
  • Year(s) the athlete took part in the Olympics
  • Cities of competition
  • Sport
  • Medals (if any)
  • Any other pertinent information, including photos
  • Your name
  • Your contact info e-mail and phone #

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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