Manitoba

Winnipeg Olympians Desiree Scott and Justin Duff come home to cheers

Desiree Scott flashed her trademark smile and her second Olympic bronze medal as she arrived home in Winnipeg on Tuesday. Volleyball player Justin Duff, whose team was fifth, also returned to cheers.

Soccer player brings home bronze medal, Duff proud member of 'feared team'

Desiree Scott returns from Rio

6 years ago
Duration 0:55
Desiree Scott flashed her trademark bright smile as well as her second Olympic bronze medal as she arrived home to Winnipeg on Tuesday.

Desiree Scott flashed her trademark bright smile as well as her second Olympic bronze medal as she arrived home in Winnipeg on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old midfielder on the Canadian women's soccer was greeted by cheers, applause, hugs and high fives at the airport on Tuesday morning.

"It feels amazing. I'm always so happy to come home, and it's even better with some hardware," she said, as she held up the medal, prompting a thrum of camera clicks.

Scott was bombarded with questions, many from reporters but several from her youngest relatives, who clung to her waist as she manoeuvred through the throng.

"Are you going to come home?" one asked.

"How come you smell so good?" said another.

"I missed you, Desiree," said one youngster. Scott was last in Winnipeg more than 60 days ago, when she left for training before heading to Rio.

Team Canada downed host team Brazil 2-1 at the Rio Games for the bronze medal last week.

The victory came two days after Scott and her teammates were knocked out of the gold medal game by Germany, who dropped Canada 2-0 in the semifinals after Canada beat them 2-1 during group play. Germany went on to beat Sweden 2-1 and win the gold medal.

Scott praised the progress of her squad, which also won a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics, saying the systems they use and the skill of the young players has made the team a force that can go toe-to-toe with the best in the world and win.

"Canada's a really good place [for soccer] and I think people need to watch out," she said, then lauded Canadian Olympians as a whole, saying how proud she was to watch their performances.

Scott said she will spend the next week with family before she has to lace the cleats up again and head to the United States to be with her National Women's Soccer League team, FC Kansas City.

During the next seven days — and likely within hours, if her excitement and grin are any indication — Scott will introduce the two bronze medals to one another.

"I can't wait to actually take photos with two on," she said. "It's gonna be pretty sweet."

'Heck of a party' 

Justin Duff, a member of the Canadian men's volleyball team, also arrived to a cheering section on Tuesday.

Duff's squad finished fifth at the Games, which was a significant accomplishment since it was the first time in 24 years that Canada has had a men's volleyball team at the Olympics.
Olympian Justin Duff says the Canadian men's volleyball team has made major progress in the past seven or eight years, becoming a feared competitor on the international stage. (CBC)

"When I first joined the team seven years ago or so, we were an OK team, internationally. The big teams didn't care if they played us. They were just like, 'OK, chalk up a 3-0 win against Canada,'" Duff said.

"Since then, with what we've done … we're now a feared team, where teams prepare for us."

Canada beat the U.S. and Italy during the early part of the tournament. In the end, Italy went home with the silver medal, while the U.S. took bronze. 

Duff, 28, said being at the Olympics was "probably the best time of my life."

Though he had heard about the negative press regarding the Games, Duff said his experience in Rio was nothing but great. He praised the volunteers and organizers and said he feels bad for them.

"I want those people to be acknowledged. They threw a heck of a party and I had a wonderful time."

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