Olympic heroes return home (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Russia's Olympic team have received a heroes’ welcome on their return to Moscow. The squad finished fourth overall at the London Games, just one gold medal short of their target of 25.

­Fans showed up in huge numbers at Sheremetyevo airport, long before the arrival of the team.

Their patience was rewarded when the country's newest Olympic champions began to slowly appear in the arrivals hall.

Among them, the men's volleyball team, who shocked Brazil in a thrilling five-set final.

The synchronized swimming team were also there as they remain unbeaten since Sydney 2000.

Rhythmic gymnasts, wrestlers and boxers were among the others arriving with golden hand luggage, but it was the athletics squad who took home the most hardware, with 18 medals in total.

“My main feeling is that this particular four-year cycle is over, and now we’ll be starting all over again,” Ivan Ukhov, London 2012 men’s high jump gold medalist, told RT. “What’s most important right now is trying to make it to my wife and daughter through this crowd.”

Ukhov’s colleague, Anna Chicherova, who topped the women’s high jump competition in the British capital, says she was touched by the reception she received from the home fans.  

“It is very heartwarming to hear words of thanks, see joy in people’s eyes and realize you’ve managed to make a lot of people happy, not just yourself,”
she said. “Knowing that you’ve upheld your country’s sporting excellence is immensely inspiring.”

The Russian athletes brought their country 24 gold, 25 silver and 33 bronze medals at the London Olympics.

RIA Novosti / Sergey Kuznetsov
RIA Novosti / Sergey Kuznetsov
RIA Novosti / Andrey Telichev
RIA Novosti / Andrey Telichev
RIA Novosti / Andrey Telichev
RIA Novosti / Andrey Telichev
RIA Novosti / Andrey Telichev
RIA Novosti / Andrey Telichev
RIA Novosti / Anton Denisov
RIA Novosti / Anton Denisov
RIA Novosti / Anton Denisov
RIA Novosti / Anton Denisov
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