To hear it is to know that Fair Havenite Connor Jaeger's Olympic journey is a story woven from every fabric of American Dream cloth.
Small town kid finds a love and talent for swimming. Said kid hones his skill with the support of a loving, community-minded family and good, wholesome friends. Talent in tow, the teen goes off to college at University of Michigan, continues to compete and secures a spot on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team.
Once on the team, the hometown hero's name, Connor Jaeger, becomes a household moniker over the stretch of his summertime Olympic journey as one of the fastest and youngest 1,000-meter freestyle swimmers in the world.
Back at home, from trials to a hometown early-morning hooting-and-hollering TV meet ushering Connor into the finals, supportive signs and cheers peppered Fair Haven and other nearby towns. The borough oozed with pride; and, for all overwhelming support there was every bit as equal an amount of sincere gratitude going back at Fair Haven from Connor and his entire family.
Parents, Eric, a Fair Haven councilman, and Beranadette, said they were, more than anything else, so grateful and humbled to be part of such a giving community that there weren't enough words to express it.
Try, though, Eric did in a heartfelt comment to Patch mid-way through Connor's Olympic journey:
“So often the most joyous occasions in our lives are shared in small intimate circle of friends and family," Eric Jaeger said. "This experience which we are living through now has demonstrated the power and beauty of small-town America as the people rally behind one of their own. We are most humble and grateful for the love and support shown to our family. The words 'thank you' can not suffice but they will have to."
The thank-yous continued, though many heard the Jaegers continue to say that they felt it was just not enough for what they felt, Connor included.
So, while he still thinks gestures and words are incommensurate with he and his family's gratitude for a supportive community, Eric Jaeger decided to pass on a token of his family's thanks to Fair Haven for joining and supporting them every step of the way on Connor's Olympic journey.
At Monday night's Borough Council meeting, the councilman presented the governing body with Connor's swim cap, which he wore in his 2012 Olympic finals swim, autographed and framed.
The framed cap will be placed in Borough Hall.