FLY­ING HIGH!

OLYMPIC STARS COME BACK TO HEROES’ WEL­COME Big crowds greet Rio record-break­ers af­ter epic trip home

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By WENDY THOMAS news@sun­daysport.co.uk

TEAM GB’s tri­umphant Olympians ar­rived at Heathrow singing the na­tional an­them as their gold-nosed Bri­tish Air­ways jet touched down on home soil.

The cham­pagne flowed and ex­cited ath­letes took self­ies on board the BA2016 flight.

Dou­ble gold-medal­list Max Whit­lock even tried out some of his gymnastics rou­tines on the first-class seats. He and cham­pion boxer Ni­cola Adams were the first two stars to emerge from the plane and stood at the top of the stairs as the rest of the ath­letes filed out to cheers and ap­plause.

Many took self­ies with their Team GB col­leagues on the tar­mac, con­tin­u­ing a theme that had ap­plied through­out the jour­ney.

The sports­men and women used so­cial me­dia to share pic­tures of them­selves en­joy­ing a party at­mos­phere as they cel­e­brated be­com­ing the first na­tion to bet­ter a home medal count at the fol­low­ing Olympics.

Some posed for pic­tures in the cock­pit, with rower He­len Glover swap­ping her gold medal for a pi­lot’s hat in one photo.

Kayak gold medal win­ner Joe Clarke tweeted a selfie from the top of the plane stairs with the cap­tion: “What a re­cep­tion! We’re home ... Bring­ing home the great @TeamGB #self­ieon­thesteps”.

Fa­mous

Triathlon golden boy Alis­tair Brown­lee did the same, with the cap­tion: “So #good­to­bBAck. What a wel­come”.

Gold medal rower Matt Lan­gridge tweeted: “Think there might be some­one fa­mous on my flight, we have a wel­come party #Great­to­beBAck”.

The ath­letes headed to Heathrow ter­mi­nal five ar­rivals af­ter sort­ing out lug­gage.

Friends, fam­ily and well-wish­ers waited to wel­come the Olympic heroes – adorned with union flags, wel­come ban­ners and red, white and blue bal­loons.

The stars were greeted by cheers, ap­plause and screams.

And chil­dren crouched in front of the bar­ri­ers clutch­ing small Bri­tish flags, des­per­ate to glimpse the sport­ing stars and hop­ing for an au­to­graph.

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