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Updated at 5:55 pm on 15 August 2012
Hundreds of supporters have turned out to welcome home New Zealand's Olympic athletes.
The first plane carrying the sportsmen and women touched down at Auckland International Airport on Wednesday morning.
New Zealand won six gold, two silver and five bronze at the London Games.
More than 200 people, including family members, cheered and clapped as the athletes, wearing their medals, made their return.
PHOTO: RADIO NEW ZEALAND
Among the first Olympians to return included silver medallist BMX rider Sarah Walker and the 4000 cycling pursuit team, which won bronze.
Walker said it was amazing to see the crowd waiting and made her feel honoured to be a New Zealander.
Single sculls rower Mahe Drysdale was welcomed by family and says he is relieved to come home with the gold medal after all the pressure and expectation.
Storm Uru, who won a bronze with Peter Taylor in the lightweight double sculls, said the amount of supporters and fans was overwhelming.
Uru said he was keen to get home and relax after a hectic few weeks in London.
Aaron Gate, a last-minute addition to the cycling pursuit team, said it was great to be back.
"Didn't expect this many people to be here at all, so it's really awesome," he told reporters.
Absent from the medalists arriving on Wednesday was shot-put gold medalist Valerie Adams, who is competing overseas until September.
The equestrian team is not returning yet, but will be back in time for the official welcome in Christchurch on 24 August.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
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