Gold-Medal Parade for Patterson

9-4-04- An estimated ten thousand people lined a parade route leading to Allen High School this morning, trying to catch a glimpse of Olympic gold medalist Carly Patterson.

Proud residents screamed with delight as the high school band
played and Patterson waved from the back seat of a convertible.

Patterson said later at a celebration rally inside the school gym that she was glad to come home to Allen and thankful for all the support from the town.

Residents of the all-around champion gymnast's adopted hometown
waved US flags and held posters with messages such as "Carly, you

Five Allen High School students painted their stomachs red and
spelled out Carly in giant blue letters.

The 16 year old is a junior at Allen High. She joins Mary Lou Retton as the only American women to win the all-around gold.

Patterson is a Baton Rouge, Louisiana native who moved to Texas
in 1999.

She lives with her mother, 14 year old sister and two cats in Allen, a city of 66 thousand about 25 miles north of Dallas.