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Winnipeg welcomes medal-winner Desiree Scott

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Dozens and dozens of screaming fans switched between chanting "Desiree" and singing O Canada while waiting for the soccer superstar to arrive at the James A. Richardson International Airport on Monday.

Family members, friends, and fans of all ages began gathering at the base of the staircase on the main floor of the airport before 5 p.m. to welcome the Olympic bronze medallist from Canada's national women's soccer team home.

Scott made her way down the escalator at about 7:45 p.m. Air Canada flight 267 was originally expected to land at 6 p.m. but didn't touch down until about 7:25 p.m.

The delay allowed even more people to congregate on the main level of the airport. Erik and Jenna Baker were waiting for a flight to Las Vegas when they decided to see what all the commotion was about.

"It's a big deal that she's from Winnipeg," said Erik, as he stood as tall as possible to watch for Scott, who was expected to appear at any moment. "Canada didn’t have 110 medals but we still have a huge crowd here, it’s nice to see," he said. 

Nikki Gusberti, Scott’s aunt, waited with other family members with a big arrangement of balloons for the returning Olympian. 

"I wrote her a card that said if you work hard and dream big, anything is possible. I wrote that to her just before she left. Winning a medal was her dream and look, she did it," said Gusberti while holding Canadian flags in different sizes. 

While young soccer players handed out small Canadian flags to members of the crowd, other people waited patiently for family members who happened to be on the same flight as Scott. Two sisters began jumping up and down and waving their arms wildly in the air while shouting "dad," as loud as they could simply to get the attention of their father amid the huge crowd. 

Cheers erupted when Scott finally appeared on the escalator and waved to her family, friends, and fans. 

"I’m a very emotional person," Scott told the media immediately after stepping off the escalator. "I’m holding back tears right now." 

The fans waited very patiently and continued to chant the 25-year-old's name as she spoke to the media about team work and her favourite moment of the London 2012  Olympic Games. 

"After Diana Matheson scored in the bronze-medal game and I ran up to the ref and I’m like 'how much time’s left' she told me 10 seconds and then just to hear that whistle blow... that had to be the moment I knew I hit the podium," said Scott. 

After security guided her through the crowd of cheering, screaming, high-fiving fans, Scott was rushed behind a desk on the main level of the airport where she signed hats, T-shirts, flags and photographs. Her family stayed behind, one member saying they would get to "see her at home," and another expressing concern about how Scott was going to get her luggage. 

Scott, Winnipeg's star holding midfielder, kicked a French shot off her own goal line in a crucial moment of Canada's historic 1-0 bronze-medal win last Thursday. 

Janine Hanson, Winnipeg's silver medal-winning member of the women's eight rowing team, is not expected back in Winnipeg until mid-September. 

History

Updated on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 6:22 PM CDT: Flight delayed again, adds info from airport.

8:47 PM: Adds details on Scott's arrival

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