Paralympians return home

Friday 23rd September 2016 6:00 am
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Rachel (right) on the flight home from Rio with GB teammate and fellow 2016 Paralympic champion Helen Scott

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PARALYMPIC champion Rachel Morris from Farnham was among the first off the plane as Team GB’s Rio 2016 heroes touched down at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday.

There were tears and cheers aplenty as the athletes were welcomed home by their families, many proudly bearing evidence of Britain’s biggest medal haul since 1988 around their necks.

Rachel, who won gold in the arms-shoulder single sculls rowing, was left speechless after spotting her dad Carey in arrivals sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘Row, Rachel, Row’.

She told the BBC: “People had said how much support we had and it’s been incredible to see it. It’s been absolutely incredible - the experience. The whole Games and the way it’s been done, and being part of Paralympics GB and having our best result, that has been amazing.”

There were also tears as Binsted’s Georgie Hermitage, who won two golds and a silver on the track in Rio, saw her three-year-old daughter Tilly for the first time in a month.

Georgie said: “All my family stayed at home so I could focus out in Rio so I got a bit emotional seeing Tilly today as I’ve missed her so much.

“We’re off to Disneyland next week and we’ll have a little party in the village where we live. I’ll let my hair down for a couple of weeks but then it’s back to the daily grind.”

The area hailed a third Paralympic champion last week after David Smith, a former student at Treloars College, won boccia gold to add to his victory in the 2008 Beijing Games and fourth Paralympic medal in total.

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