It was a hero's welcome for two local cousins who competed in the Rio Olympics together.
They were celebrated by their community at Sam Barlow High School Friday for their achievements competing in the games.
Surrounded by the Gresham community, Ryan and Sam Crouser spoke to the people they grew up with about their experiences as Olympic competitors.
"So it's been really cool to come back home and bring home the gold to both the high school and the community,” Ryan said. “It's been a really cool experience."
Ryan, a Sam Barlow graduate, earned a gold medal and set an Olympic record in the men's shot put in Rio this year, but he'll be the first to say that his journey to Rio started in his hometown.
“I went into it just with the attitude that I want to get the whole Olympic experience,” he said. "A lot of these people have had an influence on me throughout the years, and so an Olympic medal isn't really won the day of. It really goes back years previous of all the hard work and time that goes into it."
Ryan's cousin Sam competed in the men's javelin throw event. He didn't come away with a medal but cherished the experience to compete with his cousin.
"That was a great feeling, just being able to go down to Rio and be roommates with Ryan, and just be there for each other for mental support, and just be able to train together was an experience in itself," he said.
The cousins hope their message will resonate with young aspiring athletes of the future.
Ryan and Sam said they are already starting to train for the 2020 Olympic Games.
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