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Team Canada athletes are welcomed home now that the torch for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been extinguished.
The athletes spent more than two weeks competing in Japan, while overcoming many obstacles to win the country’s most medal count in the un-boycotted Games.Team Canada collected 24 medals, including seven gold, and placed 11th overall. This is only behind the boycotted Los Angeles 1984 Games (10 gold medals, 44 in total).
The Canadian Olympic Committee hosted a homecoming event Thursday in Toronto for some of the athletes who are ready to spend the next moment with their families, basking in the glow of their accomplishments.
Tokyo 2020 decathlon gold medal champion Damian Warner, who was honored to carry the Canadian flag at the Games’ closing ceremony, said while he hadn’t slept too much since his return flight a few days ago, his victory has always been “brilliant” and he is delighted to share it with his loved ones.
“It was one of those things that we were gone for 25 days, I think. We have a little boy now so it was a long time away from my family and a long time away from the people who supported me and helped me get to the games in the first place, so it was really nice to come home and share that time with them, ”Warner said.
Thinking of the gold medal hanging from his neck, Warner said he looked at other athletes like Donovan Bailey, and it was these athletes who gave him the inspiration to become an Olympian.
“My mom, when I was younger, told me you could do whatever you wanted and I set my sights on the decathlon and the Olympics,” he said. “It’s one of those things that’s really special when you finally achieve something that you set out to do. “
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The 31-year-old said he had high school coaches – who are still his coaches to this day – who encouraged him to do decathlon as a teenager. From then on, Warner had chosen his future.
“I didn’t know what [a decathlon] was at the time, but I trusted them and it got me to some really good places, ”he said.
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