Road To The Olympic Games

Hero's welcome awaits Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

Figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are among the Olympians expected to return home, bringing two sets of gold medals with them. The pair, who captured international attention at the Pyeongchang Games, is scheduled to land in London, Ont., Monday evening.

Pair most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history

Tessa Virtue, right, and Scott Moir, left, return home after winning a pair of gold medals in Pyeongchang. (Kevin Light/CBC Sports)

Hundreds of fans filled up the tiny arrival section of the airport in London, Ont., belting out the national anthem and waving Canadian flags to welcome ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

The pair signed flags, signs and Tim Hortons cups in what will be their last Olympic homecoming, as they retire from professional ice dancing after winning two sets of gold medals at the Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Their first-place wins in ice dancing and team figure skating in South Korea brought their total Olympic medal count to five, making them the most decorated figure skaters in the history of the Games.

Cheering crowds also greeted Canada's athletes in Vancouver, where gold medallists Cassie Sharpe and Patrick Chan returned Monday.

In London, Moir and Virtue were shocked by the number of people who came out to meet them.

"We're tired but this is so exciting for us, we've been thinking about this moment being back home since we won the gold medal," said Moir, who is from nearby Ilderton, Ont. "It's been unbelievable, we haven't come down from Cloud 9."

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir get hometown welcome in London, Ont. 0:56

Moir said representing Canada had only gotten more special in his third Olympics with Virtue.

"None of the magic had worn off," said Moir, who together with Virtue was Canada's flag bearer at the opening ceremony. "If anything, you feel more patriotic and we understand more what it means to represent Canada and wear the flag on our back."

"It's special and sentimental because it's been 20 years in the making and it's the culmination of it all competitively," added Virtue. "It couldn't have gone any better for us."

Asked when they think they'll come down from the high of winning, Virtue replied: "do we have to?"

The duo has been melting hearts since they claimed gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games, but this year they garnered a whole new group of fans who swooned over their chemistry on the ice. Some have suggested they might be in a romantic relationship — a rumour the athletes have been denying for years.

Resident Cassie Caranci, who came to the airport early to get a spot at the front of the packed arrival section, said she has been following the skaters' careers since they started.

"It was really important for me to see them come here," Caranci said. "Seeing them in the last Winter Games and then seeing them make their comeback, I'm a proud Londoner."

Chan, Sharpe's golden return

A crowd of lively fans dressed in red, waving Canadian flags and singing the national anthem flocked to Vancouver's airport Monday to greet Canadian Olympic gold medallists Cassie Sharpe and Patrick Chan, as well as other athletes returning from Pyeongchang.

Chan said it was just beginning to sink in that he'd won gold in the team skating event.

"It's a nice feeling," the Toronto skater said with a grin, adding that he plans to leave it in his suitcase for a little while.

"I'll take a look at it every once in a while. It's sometimes better to keep it away and then just enjoy it once in a while."

Chan, 27, is now set to retire, although he said he would continue to be involved in skating and perform at shows. He also hopes to eventually open his own skating school that will bring together Vancouver-area coaches and athletes.

"I've waited for so long, in a way," said Chan, who recently relocated to Vancouver. "It's a new beginning and a rebirth."

Sharpe, from Comox, B.C., also said she was excited to be back in her own bed, cook herself some food and "just hang out." Her gold medal in freestyle skiing halfpipe was tucked into the pocket of her Team Canada sweater.

"It's phenomenal," she said. "It feels even better to hold it on Canadian soil. It feels good bringing it home."

"Personally, it's a bucket list thing. How many people get to say they won gold at the Olympics?" she added. "But then of course, feeling the pride and feeling everybody from Canada being so proud of you and being so happy that you're bringing it home to them ... it's incredible."

Agosta will return to police force in May

Women's hockey veteran Meghan Agosta was wearing her silver medal as she arrived in Vancouver. She said it was "unfortunate" that the final game against the U.S. ended in a 3-2 shootout loss.

"When it comes down to a shootout, anything could happen," she said. "But I'm so proud and happy with every single one of us girls in that room, we showed a lot of character, a lot of resilience."

Asked about her teammate Jocelyn Larocque's initial refusal to wear her silver medal on the ice, Agosta said it was the "heat of the moment.

"The decision that she made, it wasn't any ill will," said Agosta. "She didn't mean to disrespect anybody. We train so hard and we went there for gold. It was unfortunate that we ended up losing, but Jocelyn Larocque, she's an amazing leader, an amazing person, a great teammate."

Agosta took a year off from her job as a Vancouver police officer to train for the Olympics. She said she returns to the force in May.

Bobsled pilot Chris Spring of Priddis, Alta., who didn't bring home a medal, said he was excited for his fellow athletes who did. He said he was driving well during the two-man race but made a poor choice of runners on the first day, and his efforts to be aggressive on the second day didn't pan out.

"Huge credit to the coaching staff and everyone behind the scenes, the mechanics," he said after arriving in Vancouver.

"I was excited to leave," he added with a laugh. "If you have a great Games, you're excited to come home and share your results with Canada here, with family and friends. If you don't have a great result at the Games, then you're also pretty excited to get home."

'Doesn't feel real' for Kaetlyn Osmond

Figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond arrived home in Edmonton on Monday afternoon, her bags a little heavier than when she left for Pyeongchang a month ago.

The Olympian was greeted by a crowd of family and friends at the Edmonton International Airport. When she pulled her gold and bronze medals from her backpack, they erupted in cheers.

"It still doesn't feel real," she said. "I think it will take a few days home before it all sinks in. But the time away has been incredible and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out."

With files from CBC News

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