RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 06: Silver medalists Simone Manuel, Abbey Weitzeil, Dana Vollmer and Kate Ledecky of the United States pose during the medal ceremony for the Women's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay on day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe—Getty Images
By Raisa Bruner
August 18, 2016

Olympic swimming champion Katie Ledecky returned home to Washington on Wednesday — her neck hung with her five Olympic medals — to a raucous airport welcome. Her teammate and two-time gold medalist Simone Manuel was surprised at the airport by a similarly enthusiastic display from local fans in Houston.

When Ledecky walked into the airport, a crowd of friends, press, and supporters swarmed the athlete amid high-pitched shrieks and cheers, including more than a dozen of her high school friends, ABC News reports.

What’s next for Ledecky? The 19-year-old will be working on getting her driver’s license, she told reporters — she’s only had her learner’s permit up until now. Meanwhile down in Texas, Manuel got an extra-special greeting: a full retinue of marching band and cheerleaders hailed her arrival.

Manuel hasn’t had a chance to be home in Houston since Christmas, People reports. Her first pit-stop? A doughnut store.

Both Ledecky and Manuel only have a short time to enjoy their hometown glory, though, as the two lauded athletes will be headed out west to Stanford University this fall. They’ll certainly have plenty of stories to tell their fellow students about their Olympic adventure.

“We had a RIOlly good time,” Ledecky tweeted before their flight took off on Tuesday.

 

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