- Title: RUSSIA: Russian athletes return from Olympics to hero's welcome
- Date: 14th August 2012
- Summary: GIRLS WAITING WITH BALLOONS
- Embargoed: 29th August 2012 13:00
- Location: Russian Federation
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA53SP74HY4VXF5PXG1FE4866UY
- Story Text: Members of Russia's Olympic team received a hero's welcome on Monday (August 13), bringing home 24 gold, 26 silver and 32 bronze medals from London to finish fourth with a total of 82.
Shouting "congratulations!", scores of fans greeted the returning athletes at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport with fresh bouquets of flowers and balloons.
The mother of Svetlana Romashina, who won two golds at the games in synchronised swimming, said the team exceeded all expectations.
"As beautifully and as high quality as they did, as loaded with energy--when we were watching, we got goosebumps all over my body--it was really fantastic. And we are crazy happy that the girls won, because it was a hard win. Non one knew what to expect from the others," Tatiana Romashina said.
Romashina's synchronised swimming duet partner Natalia Ishchenko, who has now won gold at three Olympics, thanked the team's supporters at a make-shift ceremony in the airport arrivals hall.
"A team is not only athletes but it is also our wonderful trainer, our sports leaders, our medical team, managers, and to them a huge thank you. No sports achievement is possible without them," Ishchenko said.
Sergei Tetyukhin, a member of the first Russian men's volleyball team to win gold since 1980, dedicated his medal to the men who played before him.
"I want to wish and dedicate this medal to the veterans of our sport who have really worried and cheered for us. God give them health and all the best. Thank you."
Romashina said she was happy to have lived up to expectations.
"We knew that Russians could win the gold. It's a little bit of pressure, but all the same we justified the hopes of all of the fans, and also our hopes, so we are very happy that everything turned out," she said.
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