CLAYTON -- Mayor Howard Geller has a theory about how his hamlet of 11,000 residents has produced five Olympic medalists. It's the town's proximity to Mount Diablo.
"There's always been a mystique about the mountain," said Geller. "It could be raining everywhere and we have sunshine."
The mountain will no doubt shine down on Clayton on Sept. 15, when the town officially welcomes home its latest Olympians Kristian Ipsen and Kara Kohler with a parade through the pint-size downtown.
The parade begins at 5 p.m. at Oak Street, will continue on Main Street, bend onto Marsh Creek Road and end at The Grove. Ipsen and Kohler are expected to ride in convertible cars. A celebration with speeches, awards and a concert will follow and dignitaries and Kohler's coach are expected to attend.
Each of the bronze-medal winning Olympians will be given something no other Clayton resident has received: a key to the city.
"This is a big deal," said longtime Councilwoman Julie Pierce. "That's the way Clayton is. We recognize our own."
The magic for Clayton happened Aug. 1. First it was Kohler, a 21-year-old Cal rower and Clayton Valley High graduate, who won the bronze in the women's quadruple sculls, a rowing event.
Hours later, Ipsen -- a 19-year-old De La Salle High graduate and Stanford diver -- won the bronze in the men's synchronized three-meter springboard event.
An exhausted Ipsen returned to Clayton on Monday. He
He and teammates watched David Boudia win the first U.S. Olympic diving gold medal since 2000 on Saturday and stayed up through the night fueled by adrenaline from the historic win. Sunday was closing ceremonies, which stretched into early Monday morning.
He "passed out" on his flight home, and his mother Yvette Ipsen described him Wednesday as being "upside down on time."
He will change time zones against Thursday, when he leaves for a national tournament in North Carolina. He won't dive, but is expected to pose for pictures and sign autographs.
"It's so weird," said Ipsen. "Things have changed so much over the last month I was gone."
That's something Ipsen and Kohler should get used to, said Clayton resident Don Bragg. He said people still congratulate him more than 50 years after he won the gold in pole vaulting in the 1960 Olympic Games.
"People don't realize that you got 10,000 athletes in the Olympics and just to have a memorial medal to come home with is something," said Bragg, who plans to attend the parade.
At 19 and the youngest diver on the team, Ipsen is expected to return in 2016 at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Ipsen grew up not far from Mount Diablo and believes there may be something to Geller's theory.
"We look at Mount Diablo every morning when we wake up," he said.
David DeBolt covers Concord and Clayton. Contact him at 925-943-8048. Follow him on Twitter.com/daviddebolt.