NORWALK, Conn. – Two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time World Cup champion and Wilton native Kristine Lilly continues to give back to the area she grew up in. She continued a busy week in the area as the guest speaker at the Fairfield County Sports Commission’s fifth annual Celebrity Breakfast on Thursday. Held at the Continental Manor in Norwalk and emceed by ESPN personality Sara Walsh, the event raised money for the non-profit organization.
She even dug into her own pocket in front of the crowd, bidding $550 on one of the items up for live auction with all of the money going to the Commission.
“I love coming home,” Lilly said. “I live in Boston now, but I spent pretty much my whole life since I was six in Wilton. My brother still lives in this area. We love this area and the support that I’ve gotten from my town, the surrounding towns and the state of Connecticut throughout my career has been incredible.”
Two other former Olympians, Sue Merz of the 1999 women’s ice hockey team and Dick Packer of the 1956 men’s soccer team, were also in attendance. Packer ran one of the first soccer camps Lilly ever went to, and she said it had a huge impact on her.
“I always had fun there and that’s something I really try to do at my camp—make sure the kids are having fun,” she said.
Lilly officially retired from professional soccer in 2011 after a stellar 24-year career. She holds the world record for most international appearances in a soccer game with 352. In addition to her yearly weeklong summer soccer camp in Wilton, Lilly will also instruct players at a camp at the new Chelsea Piers Connecticut sports complex in Stamford.
Lilly also hinted that she might return to the sport she loves in another capacity.
“I’ve been giving coaching a try with the Boston Breakers as an assistant,” she said. “It’s interesting standing on the sidelines and not running around. I’m interested to see how I impact the individual players on the team, so we’ll see what happens after that.”