Team USA athletes from Houston received a hero's welcome at George Bush Intercontinental Airport upon their arrivals back home.
Coordinated in part by the Harris County - Houston Sports Authority, the athletes were greeted by family, friends and fans with signs and smartphones for the ever-important selfie.
Gold medal Olympian Simone Biles from Spring — who led the U.S. team to gold in the team competition, then went on to win gold in the individual all-around, vault and floor and a bronze on the balance beam — was welcomed by a large crowd that included City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, representatives from the Houston Airport System and the Harris County - Houston Sports Authority, as well as the Klein Oak High School Drum Line, the Houston Texans Cheerleaders and Toro, the Houston Texans Mascot, and more.
“I can't thank everyone in all of Houston for coming out to see me today and to welcome me from Rio,” Biles said. “And I love you guys.”
While introducing Biles, who set a record for most gold medals won by an U.S. female gymnast in a single Olympics, Mayor Turner delivered a proclamation making August, 24, 2016 Simone Biles Day in Houston.
“On behalf of all Houstonians, I want to welcome home Simone Biles and all of the returning Houston area Olympians,” said Mayor Turner. “Our chests collectively swelled with admiration and pride as we watched this little powerhouse of an athlete perform her way to four golds and one bronze medal at the Rio games. As the most decorated American gymnast, she stands as an inspiration to all. We won’t hesitate to boast that she calls the Houston area home.”
The celebration for Biles capped a week of honors for area Olympians returning from the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. Earlier, Simone Manuel, the 20-year-old from Sugar Land who won two gold and two silver medals in swimming, was greeted by representatives from the City of Houston, the Houston Airport System and the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, as well as local youth swim teams and the Stephen F. Austin High School Drum Line.
Among other area Olympic athletes also celebrated on their return were bronze medal-winner Sarah Robles (Weightlifting), Kassidy Cook (Diving), Timothy Wang (Table Tennis), Chris Brooks (Gymnastics), Steven Lopez (Taekwondo), Courtney Hurley (Fencing) and Kelley Hurley (Fencing).