The moment the doors opened at Halifax Stanfield International Airport and revealed boxer Custio Clayton, the crowd erupted.
Clayton had a huge smile as his son was passed to him through the crowd and his friends and family presented him with a medal.
“This is crazy. I mean to come through here and see all these people here. It doesn’t get much better than that,” said North Preston’s Clayton.
A collection of a few hundred family members, friends and fans waited at the airport to greet their Olympic heroes Monday afternoon.
Clayton lost a controversial decision on a count back to Great Brittan’s Freddie Evans in the quarterfinals, which would have guaranteed him at least a bronze medal. But Clayton took the decision in stride and is looking forward to getting a chance to sit back and rest before getting back to the gym.
“To see all these people behind me even though I didn’t win a medal.
But deep down they believe in me and believe I won the medal and I believe I won the medal and that’s what’s important.”
Along with Clayton Nova Scotia’s Ellie Black, Geoff Harris, Jenna Martin and Danielle Dube returned home after an impressive showing at the summer games in London.
Black, the 16-year-old gymnast from Halifax came through the airport gates to chants of “Ellie! Ellie! Ellie!”
“It’s amazing,” she said with tears in her eyes. “It is the best experience ever, everyone’s here.”
Black’s strong performance, particularly in vault, helped propel Team Canada to its first ever team final in the Olympics and a best ever fifth place finish. London was a great experience for Black, she said and will use what she learned there to help propel her towards the 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
But for now she jut wants to get home and see those who didn’t make the trip to the airport.
“I can’t wait to get home and see my dog,” she said with a laugh.