Brisbane welcomes home our Olympians

SHARN KENNEDY

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Queen Street mall was packed today as Aussie Olympians were greeted with supporters to welcome the athletes home.

Having competed in the Rio Olympics, and now back on home ground, our athletes were more then enthusiastic to mingle with fellow Australians and to show off the medals they won in Brazil.

Catherine Skinner, who won gold in women’s trap event, described the Rio Olympics as a wonderful experience with her defining moment of the event coming as a surprise.

“It was just after I won my medal when I got back to the village to a room full of athletes who had been watching my event and waiting for me to get back so they could give me a standing ovation and cheer me on there,” she said.

“It was just so special for me to have everyone there ready to be part of your cheer squad; it’s the moment of team spirit and to celebrate what was going on.”

But it wasn’t just the athletes who were the only ones feeling proud today with parents of the athletes also attending the event.

Felice Bird-Smith, mother of Dane Bird-Smith who won bronze in the 20km race walk,  described watching her son in Rio as nail biting.

“He just dug very deep and finished the race I’m very proud of him, and good on the Brisbane city council and the state premiers for putting on this welcome home show to the Olympians, they really deserve it,” Mrs Bird-Smith said.

The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games kick off in 5 days running 7-18 September and the next Olympic games will be held in Tokyo, Japan in 2020.

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