Returning Olympians hope to inspire others

00:28, Aug 15 2012
NZ Olympians arrive home
Bronze medal winning cyclist Aaron Gates' family awaits his arrival at Auckland airport.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Rowing fans await the arrival of the New Zealand Olympic team.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Sarah Walker poses for photos with her medal at Auckland airport.
NZ Olympians arrive home
A young fan gets up close to Sarah Walker's silver medal.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Sarah Walker is greeted by boyfriend Ian Seymour.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Cyclist Simon van Velthooven gives his bronze medal a kiss as he arrives at Auckland airport.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Sarah Walker with her BMX silver medal.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Some young fans gather to check out Sarah Walker's silver medal.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Sarah Walker stops for a photo with some young fans.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Westley Gough, left and Marc Ryan, members of the bronze medal winning team pursuit, arrive in Auckland.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Members of the cycling team arrive at Auckland airport.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Cycling medalists, from left; Aaron Gate, Simon van Velthooven, Sarah Walker, Marc Ryan and Westley Gough pose for a photo.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Simon van Velthooven poses for a photo with his family.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Fans line the barriers at Auckland airport to catch a glimpse of their Olympic heroes.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Mahe Drysdale shows his gold medal to young cousins Niia, 4, left and Zizi, 6.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Eric Murray, Nathan Cohen and Blair Tuke arrive at Auckland airport.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Gold medallist Eric Murray has his hands full with son Zac and interviews after arriving home from London.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Hamish Bond shows off his gold medal.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke show off their silver emdals.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Jackie, Zac and Eric Murray share a family moment at the airport.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Joseph Sullivan stops for a photo with some rowing fans.
NZ Olympians arrive home
470 gold medallists Polly Powrie and Jo Aleh are all smiles as they arrive in Auckland.
NZ Olympians arrive home
Rebecca Scown, Joseph Sullivan and Juliette Haigh with their medals.

 

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.

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''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.''

Waikato Times