Wednesday 19 June 2019

Triumphant Bray homecoming for Olympic hero Katie Taylor

Golden girl Katie Taylor waves to thousands of supporters who turned up to welcome her home to Bray
The scene in Bray as over 20,000 fans turned out to welcome home Olympic hero Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor wipes a tear from her eye as thousands turned out to welcome the Olympic gold medalist back to her home town of Bray
Katie Taylor back home in Bray following her Olympic triumph
A crowd of 20,000 packed the Bray seafront to see Olympic hero Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor with her father, and coach, Pete back home in Bray
A sea of supporters in Bray to welcome home Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor
Fan Mia Whelan (4) from Bray as gold medal winner Katie Taylor arrives in Bray,
Fans of Katie Taylor on Bray seafront to welcome the Olympic gold medalist home
Silver medalist John Joe Nevin, bronze medalists Paddy Barne's Michael Conlon and Cian O'Connor and Gold medalist Katie Taylor at the return of the Irish Olympic team at Dublin airport
Gold medalist Katie Taylor at the return of the Irish Olympic team to Ireland at Dublin airport
John Joe Nevin, Olympic silver medalist at Dublin airport in August 2012

Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor has choked back tears and dedicated her historic boxing victory to her home town.

It was one of the sunniest days of the summer as the 26-year-old took to a stage on the seafront of Bray, waving and shadow-boxing before more than 20,000 adoring fans.

"This medal belongs to everyone here and without their support I wouldn't be in this situation," she said with her hair blowing in the breeze.

Taylor laughed and cried amid a shower of confetti and streamers, while the crowd chanted her name.

"I'm just overwhelmed to be honest, this is just incredible," she told the sea of green, white and orange. This is unbelievable. I wouldn't be in this situation without all the support I've gotten over the last couple of weeks.

"The support I got in the ExCel Arena - it blew my mind. Without the support, I would be nothing."

The devout Christian also thanked the town for their prayers during her Olympic campaign, which saw her win gold in a nail-biting final against Russian Sofya Ochigava on Thursday.

"I had a whole nation praying for me and I felt the presence of God in that stadium," she said.

The sun was shining all day on the picturesque Co Wicklow town, as it greeted the boxing champ - fresh off a flight from the games in London. There was music, a barbecue, facepainting and funfair attractions along the strip, while Taylor travelled through the town in an open-top bus.

She was joined by fellow Olympic boxer and Co Wexford native Adam Nolan, who also took to the stage later to thank those who turned out for their support. Sisters Geraldine, Modesta and Christie Kandiwa - originally from Zimbabwe - were among the crowd.

Press Association

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