Olympic gold medallist Kellie Harrington returned to Portland Row in Dublin this afternoon to chants of 'Kellie! Kellie! Kellie!' ringing out.

Ms Harrington took the gold medal in the lightweight division at the Tokyo games.

She travelled home with bronze medallist Aidan Walsh and the remaining Olympians.

Mr Walsh said "the whole team deserves medals and I'm just one of the lucky ones. I'm overwhelmed".

The team touched down at Dublin Airport this afternoon, with fire engines escorting the plane to the gate.

Ms Harrington travelled through Dublin's north inner city on an open-top bus this afternoon along with other members of Team Ireland. The bus then made its way to Portland Row where Ms Harrington grew up.

Hundreds of well-wishers turned out to show their pride in her and to celebrate the boxer's success.

Ms Harrington said it meant the world to her to return with a gold medal but she said it is not all about the medal. She said it was about getting through the doors of a boxing club, and becoming part of a family.

Ms Harrington said she will await offers to turn professional before considering her future.

She said that she will evaluate any offers, including one to stay on the amateur circuit and compete again in the Olympics in Paris in 2024.

Kellie Harrington

Speaking earlier today her father, Christy, described the atmosphere on Portland Row "as like Christmas Eve".

"It's like we are all waiting for Santa Claus! They’re actually tracking Kellie’s plane home. So, it’s like Christmas Eve here for all of us. It really is powerful," he said.

The medal winning rowing team returned to Ireland nine days ago after their competition ended in Tokyo.

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan won gold in the lightweight double sculls, while the women's four of Emily Hegarty, Fiona Murtagh, Eimear Lambe, and Aifric Keogh won bronze.

Kellie's manager said she felt it was important for her to visit her community in a very safe and Covid-compliant way when she arrives home.

David McHugh said he imagines that the boxer is exhausted and a little overwhelmed following her win on Sunday and that her family are keen that she takes some time to rest.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said she is keen to get home to see her family and her two dogs.

The founder of Line Up Sports said it was important to give her time to manage and process her success and the impact it will have.

Mr McHugh said Kellie connects with people through her authenticity and work ethic. She is not defined by medals, he said, and is very generous with her time and connected with her community.

He said he did not believe she would be under any pressure to make a decision about her future career. Whatever decision she makes will be her own, he said, but for now she needs to cherish and savour these moments.

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