Sarah Hughes, who won a gold medal for the U.S. at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, won't have the public rink in suburban Great Neck, N.Y., where she learned to skate and practiced as a child, renamed for her, the Great Neck Park Commission has ruled. Hughes, now 26, a resident of Kings Point, which is part of the Great Neck Park District, had no comment.
For six months, investment manager and former Great Neck school trustee Michael Zarin lobbied the three elected park commissioners to rename the public Parkwood Sports Complex for Hughes. The complex includes the Parkwood pool, outdoor and indoor tennis courts and the ice rink, which had already been named in memory of Great Neck resident Andrew Stergiopolous, a young hockey player who perished in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Park Commission Chairman Robert A. Lincoln said Hughes and her sister Emily, who skated at the 2006 Winter Olympics, will be honored some other way, perhaps with an exhibit or statue. The commission had already adopted a policy regarding naming of public facilities in 2007 and decided to honor it, he said. The commission held several public hearings and received hundreds of letters and petition signatures on both sides of the issue.
The decision not to rename Parkwood as the Sarah Hughes Sports Complex was unanimous, Lincoln said.