Whidbey Island pulling for its only Olympian
Nearly everyone in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island knows Marty Malloy. He’s a retired Navy man who runs a diving and salvage company, and plays in the popular local cover band “The Stranded Dogs.”
Pretty soon, people all over the United States might know Malloy’s daughter Marti. She is the first Olympian to graduate from Oak Harbor High School, and a medal contender in the judo competition.
“She just won a silver medal in the European Cup in Prague last month,” said proud father Marty. “So, she’s already beaten some of the women she’s going to face in London. Her chances of gold, silver, or bronze are just as good as anybody’s there.”
Marti’s fascination with martial arts started 20 years ago when her dad took her two oldest brothers to NAS Whidbey to try out judo. The 6-year-old girl loved what she saw, took to the mat, and has been piling up victories in the U.S. and internationally ever since.
Her younger brother Zane now runs the Whidbey judo program, while older brother Reuben competes in Lynnwood. Marti is a journalism student at San Jose State University who works three jobs to pay for her judo training and competitions.
Earlier this month, word spread fast around the island Marti Malloy was going to the Olympics. She will have dad, mom, and two brothers cheering her on in London, thanks in part to generous friends and neighbors.
Last Friday in Oak Harbor, Fleet Reserve – Branch 97 hosted a fundraising party to help the Malloys with their $14,000 travel and lodging costs. More than 100 residents turned out for food, and a concert by “The Stranded Dogs.”
Family friend Dan Windisch helped coordinate the event, and said food and supplies were donated. One yogurt business gave some of its sales from a Facebook page.
Marty and his wife Merry were overcome with emotion, but not surprised by the support.
“When the community learned we were spending a bundle to go over and watch one of their own, they just fell in line,” Malloy explained. “It’s a Navy town and we take care of one another. They raised a couple thousand dollars over the weekend and that really helps, and is much appreciated.”
The Malloys leave for London this Thursday. They have tickets for the opening ceremony, and will stand with pride as Oak Harbor’s first Olympian enters the stadium wearing red, white and blue.