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Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel Both Returned Home to Cheering Crowds

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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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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com