Verona’s Next Olympic Star?


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That's Cassidy in white, with her gold medal

One of the first videos we posted to’s YouTube site was of a young girl happily pirouetting on her ice skates on a frozen Verona Park Lake this past winter.

Her name is Cassidy Herko, and she recently entered her very first skating competition. Lori Herko had prepared her daughter to expect a modest outcome, but Cassidy came home with a medal–a gold medal. Her mother came home with the cards of coaches who see a lot of potential in the Verona elementary school student. And so we decided to bring you the video below of the competition.

What’s the reference to the “next” Olympic star in the headline? Jed Graef, a Verona native and son of my Verona High School science teacher, won a gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. Which, ladies and gentlemen, is why we have the Olympic-size Verona Pool.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


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