Nfld. & Labrador

Fans welcome Paralympic star Liam Hickey home to N.L. with motorcade, meet and greet

The star athlete was greeted by well-wishers and fans on Saturday in Paradise following his silver-medal win at the 2018 Paralympic Games

Fresh off silver medal win, sledge-hockey star pondering his next move

Liam Hickey poses with fans, and lets one of them try out his silver medal, at a meet in greet on Saturday in Paradise. (Katie Breen/CBC)

Fresh off a star-making performance at the 2018 Paralympic Games, Newfoundland and Labrador's Liam Hickey received a hero's welcome in his hometown over the weekend.

Fans and supporters led a motorcade and held a meet and greet to celebrate his accomplishments on Saturday in Paradise. 

Hickey came wearing his silver medal around his neck, proof of his hard work, and how far he's come since he was a kid dreaming of making the Olympics while growing up in St. John's.

Liam Hickey welcomed back to N.L.

5 years ago
Duration 1:07
The hockey star received a warm welcome on Saturday in Paradise following his silver-medal winning performance at the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

"It's pretty hard to put into words. Obviously back then, looking at this [success], I couldn't have done it without the support of my friends and family," said Hickey.

Dual sport athlete

At the young age of 20, Hickey has already competed in both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. 

He competed in wheelchair basketball at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio before making the Canadian sledge hockey team ahead of the 2018 Paralympics in Pyeongchang.

Todd and Michelle Hickey, Liam's parents, are proud of all of their son's accomplishments.

His parents, Todd and Michelle Hickey, were also in attendance Saturday, beaming with pride at their son's accomplishments.

"What I've said to Liam since he was a little kid, every time you do this stuff, you're changing people's minds about what people are capable of, people with disabilities who want to play sports," said Todd Hickey. 

"One of the commentators said it best. He said, 'These are athletes who have a disability. They're not disabled athletes.'" 

Pondering next move

Hickey is taking a breather now as he comes down from the adrenalin of participating in two Olympic games in the past two years.

He plans to pursue post-secondary studies, something he had postponed during his years training.

But he's not ruling out a return to the basketball court for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

"I'm undecided yet. I've got to take a bit of a rest now, lots to figure out," he said.

With files from Katie Breen