AUBURN, Ind. (WPTA 21) - Welcome home champions!
Special Olympics, Team Indiana returned to the Hoosier state Sunday, after winning the National Championship.
ABC 21 was there as the team arrived.
The team was so sweet, from the thank you's to the hugs, and laughs, not a dull face in the crowd.
The coach said it best when he said the team was goofy, and that they were.
All 10 of the players leaving smiles on everyone's faces during their all out celebration.
"Oh my gosh this experience was amazing, it was the best experience I ever got," said Team Indiana player, Ashlyn Heller.
Player, Ryan Bourgeois continued by saying, "I had so much fun."
So much fun, the players from Team Indiana Special Olympics basketball team came home with a full escort, lights and sirens, and the crowd chanting, "Indiana."
After an undefeated 6-0 tournament the team made their way home with the gold.
"I wasn't going to blow it for no body," said Heller.
It's something no one ever expected, which is what made the win even more special.
When asked if she expected to get the gold metal, Heller said, "No, none of us did. none of us, we were 6 and oh and we wanted to fight to the end and we did that."
Fighting to the end, is something that took a lot hard work to accomplish.
"They had never ran 5K's we ran three 5K's to prepare," said Coach Rob Allen.
"It took us strength, encouragement, and exciting fans to get this far," said Bourgeois, and Heller continued by saying, "What a life time opportunity."
An opportunity all 10 of the players, family, friends, and community will forever cherish.
"Proud beyond words, they did everything we asked," said Allen.
"I did it for my family, my fans, and did it for these people," Heller said, and continued by saying,"When we won we got down and we cried. we were like the last second we won and we were like, oh, and our families come down. and my mom cried and everybody cried."
Through the tears of joy, a heart full of happiness, and memories that will last a life time.
"When you're the only girl on this team you gotta keep somebody in line, and I got to keep everybody in line and I got everybody checked and it was a really good experience," said Heller.
As for what's next for the players, they say they will, "Celebrate the rest of my life," and, "I am going to have family time, spend time with them and my dog, and just spend time with them."
Winning is in fact in the Hoosier blood, the President of Indiana's Special Olympics basketball said that in the last 4 years of the tournament, Indiana has taken the gold.