Now that the games were officially over it was time to go home. A sad moment for everyone I had so much fun throughout the whole games and I was really enjoying soaking it all up after my races had concluded.
The morning after the Closing Ceremony the exodus had begun teams were leaving as early as 6am. We weren’t due to depart for Vancouver Airport until 5pm so it was a good opportunity for us to say our goodbyes to our friends from all over the world and to finish packing. There was so much to pack! I personally had 8 bags; 4 to freight 2 for under the plane and 2 for on-board not to mention carrying my ceremonial flowers and this didn't even include any of my skis- one of the worst things about being a ski racer is having so much gear.
We departed for Vancouver, once again taking in the magnificent scenery that the coastline provides. We got to the airport early meaning we had a few hours to kill until our 11.45pm flight. After all the flying I had done over the past 4 months it was great to finally be on a flight back home. I was very excited to be able to see my family and friends again and share with them my medal and stories.
It was definitely my lucky day on the flight I scored 3 seats to myself so I slept for 2/3rds of the flight, watched a couple of movies and boom the flight was over- it was great!
Arriving in Sydney myself and Australia's 2 other medallists were ushered straight off to a press conference. We were welcomed home by Therese Rein, an honorary member of the International Paralympic Committee who also happens to be our Prime Ministers wife. A lovely lady, it was a pleasure chatting with her about the Games and our experiences. After the press conference there were a few radio and TV interviews to do and then it was off to transfer to domestic for my flight back to Melbourne. I was so excited to be back in Australia walking through the airport hearing familiar accents and seeing familiar sights was great.
Arriving into Melbourne was even better I walked off the plane to be greeted by family including our long time family friend who also happens to own a chauffeur business... I was being taken home in a stretch limo! I walked outside and it was a magnificent day, it was great to be home. As we reached Geelong the first stop was along the waterfront for a newspaper interview and to have some photos taken. Then finally it was time to go home drop my bags and collapse onto my bed in relief. It had been a long 4 months away, it had all been worth it but as they say theres no place like home.