Gold Medalist Ritzel Honored At Denver Broncos Season Opener

Recognized As Broncos Country Hero With 11 Other Colorado Olympians

DENVER, Colo. – Taylor Ritzel '10 has had a number of unique and unforgettable experiences since winning a gold medal with the United States eight at the 2012 Olympics in August. The one Sunday night, however, was probably a little extra special for the former Yale rower.

Ritzel and 11 other Colorado athletes that competed at the Games were honored as Broncos Country Heroes during the first quarter of the Denver Broncos' season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Ritzel is the granddaughter of former Broncos head coach Red Miller, who guided Denver to Super Bowl XII.

The Olympians were presented with personalized footballs and brought on field during the game's first timeout to a crowd of 76,823 Broncos fans.

Ritzel, who helped the Yale varsity eight to three NCAA titles, became the first Yalie to win a gold medal since sailor Jonathan McKee in 1984 when the U.S. eight won the Olympic final by a little more than a second. She and her crew mates became celebrities following the gold medal performance, appearing on NBC's Today Show and Access Hollywood. Ritzel was even interviewed by Bruce Jenner.

Photo courtesy of Eric Bakke, Denver Broncos

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity