PHOENIX — One of Arizona’s greatest athletes now has a reason to feel extra patriotic.
Valley Olympian Darian Townsend can now call himself an American. He was emotional as he sang “God Bless America” for the first time as a citizen during his naturalization ceremony on Thursday.
“Now to be able to sing it as an American, it just feels really, really special,” Townsend said.
A feeling that continued, as Townsend did not celebrate his new found naturalization alone.
“[H]aving my friends here, a lot of my close friends here, to watch the ceremony; it’s a really special feeling,” he explained.
Townsend won a gold medal for South Africa in the 2004 Olympics, and he hopes to represent the U.S. in 2016.
“After making the Olympics three times for South Africa, I needed some new goals and I feel like I’m an American citizen right now and I am an American citizen so it’s a goal that I’m going to have to work real really hard towards,” he said.
But whether or not Townsend ever competes for the U.S., he said he couldn’t be happier to be one of America’s newest citizens.
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets