A taekwondo group, including players as young as 11, is home in Winnipeg after a harrowing trip to Brussels. The TRP Academy young athletes missed deadly explosions at the Brussels airport on Tuesday by 10 minutes.

The athletes were in front of the Brussels airport's departure terminal when bombs went off. 

Since the attacks, parents in Winnipeg anxiously waited for their children to return home and on Thursday they finally greeted them at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.


Parents greeted their children at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport on Thursday returning home from a taekwondo trip to Brussels. The young athletes missed explosions in the airport by minutes on Tuesday. (CBC)

"All we've wanted to do is get them home," said mother Charlynne Diduch.

"Until we knew she was on Canadian soil, we were walking on eggshells," Diduch said of her daughter, Shelby.

"We were on I think the ramp to go into the terminal and it was a pretty close call but it was a good thing we were late," said Shelby Diduch.

If the taekwondo team had arrived 10 minutes earlier they would have been inside the airport just as the bombs went off.

Coach Jae Park spoke to parents at the Winnipeg airport to explain what had happened while they were in Brussels. Park said while the incident was tough on everyone, it was especially difficult for kids travelling without parents.

All he could do was remain calm, protect them, and get them home safe, Park said.

The coach was glad to see the families reunited at last.

"To be able to hug their children and to touch them and know they are safe in their arms, that's the most important thing you can't describe that," said Park.

Shelby Didick

Shelby Diduch was all smiles after seeing her parents and siblings in Winnipeg. (CBC)

With files from Courtney Rutherford