Olympian Damian Warner got a hero’s welcome Wednesday morning at the London International Airport.
The bronze medalist in the decathlon arrived around 8:30 a.m. after a long night of travelling from Rio.
“[I’m] pretty tired, but also pretty happy to see my family here, pretty happy to be back in London, Ontario,” Warner told AM980 at the airport.
Warner improved on his fifth place finish in the decathlon at the 2012 London Olympics to make it onto the Olympic podium for the first time in Rio.
“Obviously leading up to the competition you have so much excitement and nervous energy, then you do your competition there’s ups and downs within it, you win a medal and it’s kind of over in a way. You do all the media stuff. It’s kind of a whirlwind of events but it’s something I’ll remember for a very long time.”
Warner says having his family in the stands while he competed in Rio made a huge difference.
“There was times where I thought that I wasn’t going to be on the podium, times that I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to finish. Having my family there, seeing how excited they were, it kind of kept pushing me.”
As for what’s next for Warner?
“Some rest! I have a couple months off and then I’ll get back into training and get ready for the next four years.”
Gold Medal winner high jumper Derek Drouin from Corunna also returned home Wednesday as the last of Canada’s Olympic athletes made their way back from Rio.
On Tuesday, the first wave of athletes returned, including bronze medalists with the women’s soccer team Shelina Zadorsky and Jessie Fleming and women’s basketball team member Miranda Ayim.
Canadians returned home with 22 medals in their haul, a four medal increase from their efforts during the last Summer Olympics in London, England.
With files from Travis Dolynny and Tom Fraser.