"It was a great welcome for Lee, we could never have imagined anything like that," enthused Lee Mitchell's mother, Laura, while recalling the fantastic reception the Special Olympics double gold medallist received on his return to Omagh on Friday evening.
Hundreds of his supporters had been waiting patiently at Crevenagh Park and Ride for the 21-year-old lad from the town. Arriving in style in a fire engine, Lee revelled in all of the excitement. It was a fitting welcome for an exceptional young man.
Lee had trained admirably for years to secure his place at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi. And when he arrived on the world stage, Lee made every moment count. He may have been out of his comfort zone, but Lee was determined to bring home the medals.
Representing Ireland, the Omagh Spires Club member won gold in the English Equitation and the Working Trails events.
After a trip of a lifetime, Lee was ready for Omagh – and Omagh was ready for Lee. Over 200 people had gathered at the Crevenagh Park and Ride and after some warm greetings, Lee was soon chauffeured by horse and cart to St Columba's Church hall where he enjoyed refreshments and a chance to take it all in.
"There was a huge crowd of people waiting on Lee," beamed his mother Laura. "We had a slow journey back from Dublin in the rush hour traffic so we were running late on schedule and some people were waiting quite a while for his arrival."
Full story in this week's Tyrone Constitution...