Mahe Drysdale has thanked all the supporters in New Zealand who urged him to the finish line.
The gold medal winning single sculler spoke to a packed-out Pioneer Stadium in Christchurch this afternoon, for today's official Olympic Welcome Home event.
Ninety athletes are in the Garden City this afternoon, with some visiting schools, hospitals and rest homes.
Drysdale says it was like he could feel everyone encouraging him to win.
"I felt so fortunate to have the support and part of that was what we got from New Zealand because we did feel the love and we felt that you were all up in the night shouting at us and the stories since we've been back are great."