Long Beach, CA
Saturday March 25th at 11 AM Councilwoman Price will be hosting the official dedication of the Alamitos Bay Bridge on Pacific Coast Highway between Loynes and 2nd St. as the Joan Lind Van Blom Memorial Bridge in Jack Nichol Park at 6200 Costa Del Sol Way. This event is being held with State Senator Janet Nguyen, Councilman Daryl Supernaw, the Century Club, the Long Beach Rowing Association, members of the Long Beach rowing community and the Van Blom family. As the first woman to win an Olympic medal in rowing for the United States, the winner of 14 national titles, an inductee of the Wilson High School, Long Beach State, Century Club, and National Rowing halls of fame, a long time educator with Long Beach Unified School District, and a beloved Long Beach community member this bridge represents the appreciation California and Long Beach have for her many accomplishments.
Van Blom was the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic medal in rowing after taking the silver in 1976, and 1984. She was on the Olympic team in 1980 and was the favorite to win the gold that year, but the U.S. delegation boycotted the Moscow Games. It wasn’t just her athletic career that left a mark on Long Beach, however. Van Blom also served the Long Beach Unified School District for over three decades as a teacher and as the district’s first physical education curriculum leader.
“Her skill, dedication, and groundbreaking accomplishments continue to resonate through the rowing community worldwide, but it was her heart, and personality that Long Beach is so lucky to have had in our neighborhoods and classrooms. The people she touched and the life she injected into this city made her a singularly wonderful person to compete with, learn from, or meet on the street.”
In August Senator Janet Nguyen announced that the California State Legislature has approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 102 (SCR 102) authorizing the renaming of the bridge in memory of Joan Lind Van Blom.
“Joan Lind Van Blom is one of the most remarkable athletes to ever live and was even more impressive for her dedication to her Long Beach community. Having a bridge in east Long Beach named after her will serve as a daily reminder of the positive legacy she has left behind,” said Councilwoman Suzie Price.
The Memorial signs are scheduled to be installed the morning of the dedication, which will include remarks from the various elected officials and organizations as well as the Van Blom family and a reception is being held by the Long Beach Rowing Association before the event at 10:00 at 5750 Boathouse Ln., Long Beach CA 90803.