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GTA Athletes Return From London As Household Names

08/13/2012 10:21 EDT | Updated 10/14/2012 05:12 EDT
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They left their homes to compete on the world stage and now they are coming back as household names.

For Rosie MacLennan, the only Canadian to win a gold medal in London, it’s a change from how it used to be.

"I guess a lot more people know my name now," MacLennan said to reporters who gathered around her when she arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Monday.

The gymnast from King City, Ont., won a gold medal on the trampoline.

MacLennan said she’s still coming to terms with what happened and admitted feeling “overwhelmed” by the attention she has been receiving.

"It was an unbelievable moment standing on top of the podium and listening to your national anthem and it was really fun," she said.

Oakville’s Diana Matheson also made her way through a gauntlet of fans and media in Toronto on Monday, just days after scoring the goal that gave the Canadian women a bronze medal on the soccer pitch.

"I was just fortunate to be in the right spot at the right time when it went off the defender’s back," Matheson said.

Matheson, 28, said she planned to spend some time with family in the after her trip overseas.

Kayaker Adam van Koeverden came home from London with a silver medal he earned in the K-1 1,000-metre event, but he was quick to point out the achievements of his entire team.

"I’m just continually inspired by the Canadian Olympic team — my teammates, my compatriots are just incredible and they make me want to paddle forever," he said.

Van Koeverden, who now lives in Toronto but was born in nearby Oakville, is a veteran member of Canada’s Olympic team.

His silver-medal finish in London earned him the fourth medal of his Olympic career, but he wouldn’t say whether he would be back in the water for the next summer games in Rio de Janeiro.

Asked if he was thinking that far ahead, van Koeverden said he wasn’t.

"I’m trying to figure out when I can get to the cottage," he said.

MacLennan said her plan is to work towards the next Olympics, where she expects that many of her current teammates will join her.

"I think about 60 per cent of the athletes on the team were rookies and I’m sure a lot of them are going to keep on going and just get stronger from there," said MacLennan, who will turn 24 later this month.

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