Bundy welcomes back Paralympians
OUR Paralympic champions made their way back to Bundaberg today with a crowd of supporters cheering them on as they landed at the airport.
For the past fortnight, Rheed McCracken and Chris Pitt have competed in the Rio Paralympics, each performing to their expectations in their fields of wheelchair racing and shooting.
McCracken, who finished second in the 100m and third in the 800m, broke two personal records and an Oceania record.
He said the experience was an amazing one.
"Rio itself was a great place - the vibe around the games was awesome," McCracken said.
"People ask about London and I think they were two very different games," he said.
"London had a bigger crowd but Rio had a better feel about it."
Pitt, who took out fourth and fourteenth place in the 25m and 10m pistol events, said his Paralympic journey was a personal triumph.
"It was great," he said.
"I reached all of my goals and I just wanted to enjoy the experience and to get to where I did was a dream come true.
"It is something you are never going to forget, the atmosphere and being in a stadium full of people who are just so passionate ... it is unforgettable."
Mayor Jack Dempsey was among those in the crowd at the airport to congratulate the sporting champions.
"On behalf of all of the people right across the Bundaberg region, to Rheed and Chris, we want to say how immensely proud we are of you," he said.
"You have done your families proud, your community, your state and your nation."
The athletes said they were happy to be home and looked forward to returning back to normality for the time being.
"I am planning a bit of family time at the moment," McCracken said.
"I'll be taking some time off before getting back into the swing of things early next year," Pitt said.
The duo said they were overwhelmed by the support shown from the Bundaberg community.
"It is awesome to think that all of these people are out here at the airport because of myself and Chris, it makes you feel very welcomed home," McCracken said.
"It is special to know that everyone is supporting us," Pitt said.