Canadian Paralympians snap back to reality after life in Rio bubble
Athletes return home to laundry, colder weather and making room in their trophy cabinets
It took years of training for Canada's Paralympians to book their ticket to the Rio Games, and after only 11 days of competition the athletes are returning home and readjusting to life outside of the Paralympic bubble.
Some, like swimmers Aurelie Rivard and Benoit Huot, are returning with hardware around their necks. Rivard won an impressive three gold and one silver in Rio, while Huot won his milestone 20th Paralympic medal.
We are home 😀<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Canada?src=hash">#Canada</a> 🇨🇦 <a href="https://twitter.com/AurelieRivard">@AurelieRivard</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/happy?src=hash">#happy</a> <a href="https://t.co/ufyDUxEjen">pic.twitter.com/ufyDUxEjen</a>—@benhuot
"I'm super excited to see my family... And my bed." <br>- <a href="https://twitter.com/AurelieRivard">@AurelieRivard</a> <a href="https://t.co/2Q2nU5Pc1L">pic.twitter.com/2Q2nU5Pc1L</a>—@SwimmingCanada
Michelle Stilwell also added to Canada's medal count, winning her fifth and sixth career Paralympic gold medals in Rio. If that wasn't enough, the Parksville, B.C. native returned home to a little something extra to be proud of:
Council declared Sept 23 Michelle Stilwell Day in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Parksville?src=hash">#Parksville</a> to ecognize achievements in sport. <a href="https://t.co/UbtYBjBv4m">https://t.co/UbtYBjBv4m</a> .—@City_Parksville
WOW! I am speechless, what an incredible honour, thank you so much! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Parksville?src=hash">#Parksville</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nanaimo?src=hash">#Nanaimo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Qualicum?src=hash">#Qualicum</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lantzville?src=hash">#Lantzville</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nanoose?src=hash">#Nanoose</a> <a href="https://t.co/Blwz7cr730">https://t.co/Blwz7cr730</a>—@Stilwell2013
Paralympians Tammy Cunnington and Miranda Biletski were just excited to get back to some familiar hometown grub, or at least something from outside the Rio dining hall.
First meal outside village dining hall! Awesome hamburger and French fries! Touring Rio a few days before heading home. <a href="https://t.co/xxgFaEbWtk">pic.twitter.com/xxgFaEbWtk</a>—@tj_cunnington
Excited to get back to Regina for some <a href="https://twitter.com/MilkyWayRegina">@MilkyWayRegina</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Leopoldstavern">@Leopoldstavern</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StillEatingMyFeelings?src=hash">#StillEatingMyFeelings</a> it's been a slice <a href="https://twitter.com/Rio2016_en">@Rio2016_en</a>—@MirandaBiletski
All in all, leaving Rio definitely comes with a bit of 'back-to-reality' shock.
Back to reality,,<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/laundry?src=hash">#laundry</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/SwimmingCanada">@SwimmingCanada</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/jdirvinglimited">@jdirvinglimited</a> <a href="https://t.co/HoTaydTvKv">pic.twitter.com/HoTaydTvKv</a>—@fljp2002
Back in the UK! The pilot described the weather as a "balmy 19 degrees". I think UK balmy and Rio balmy might differ slightly.—@BrentLak
That is, if the athletes are actually able to make it OUT of Rio.
Our bus broke down in the middle of a Rio highway... Police escort and new bus so we don't miss our flight 😂👮🏽🚍 <a href="https://t.co/uVYacFEojG">pic.twitter.com/uVYacFEojG</a>—@EricaGavel
But when the athletes do finally make it home, they can be rest assured that they will be greeted by proud fans, friends and family.
Thank you so much to everyone for their love and support these last couple weeks, it's truly unbelievable how amazing you all are! 🇨🇦❤️—@ReneeFoessel
So Proud! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/welcomehome?src=hash">#welcomehome</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamCanada?src=hash">#TeamCanada</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CDNParalympics">@CDNParalympics</a>—@curtharnett
So what's next for these Paralympians? Only time (or their Twitter accounts) will tell.
Rio, you've been hype. But it's time to go home🇨🇦. Cross country is upon us <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rio2016?src=hash">#Rio2016</a> <a href="https://t.co/g5tIpCVTzH">pic.twitter.com/g5tIpCVTzH</a>—@sdaniel97
The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Paralympics?src=hash">#Paralympics</a> flame has been extinguished 🔥💨😢<br><br>Of course we're already thinking about how it'll be lit in Tokyo 😎 <a href="https://t.co/PvTNl3OzJ0">https://t.co/PvTNl3OzJ0</a>—@C4Paralympics