Returning Olympians hope to inspire others

Last updated 11:00 15/08/2012

The first group of New Zealand Olympians arrive home.

NZ Olympians arrive home
Rebecca Scown, Joseph Sullivan and Juliette Haigh with their medals.

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New Zealand's golden flight has touched down at Auckland International Airport with some very precious cargo onboard.

Part of our Olympic team is back home and hundreds gathered this morning in the arrivals hall to meet them.

Walking through customs just before midday was our rowing and sailing squads, and there was a lot of gold on display.

Eric Murray rushed straight into the arms of wife Jackie and son Zac, who was clutching a New Zealand flag given to him by a member of the public.

''I am a little bit tired, but just glad to be home,'' he said.

''What a welcome.''

With him was Hamish Bond, who said the long flight home from London was worth it to see the crowds at the airport.

''It makes you proud to be a Kiwi, that's for sure,'' he said.

One of the biggest cheers was reserved for single sculls gold medallist Mahe Drysdale, who had a big contingent of friends and family waiting for him.

''This welcome home is much bigger than I ever imagined,'' he said.

''I can't tell you how great it feels to be back home.''

Watching on was proud mum - ''the proudest in New Zealand!'' - Robin Owens.

''I am just so excited to see him, to see the whole team,'' she said.

''All I want to do is give him a big hug.''

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- Waikato Times

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