Victoria-area Olympians return home

Olympians welcomed home at Victoria International Airport as they return from the Rio Olympics Tuesday morning.

Canadian Women’s Eights rowing team member Cailegh Filmer received a warm welcome at the Victoria airport Tuesday morning as she arrived home from Rio. Friend Emma Gribbon

Local Olympians were greeted warmly this morning as they came through the doors at the Victoria International Airport, a long trip home from Rio de Janeiro where the 2016 Olympics were held.

The PNR caught up with rowers Kai Langerfeld and Caileigh Filmer.

Langerfeld who placed 6th overall, said he was a little disappointed in the end but still had some good races.

“It was tough to have the best race in the last race for us to really kind of bring it together and get a medal but other than that I think we handled it really well actually,” he told the PNR.

Filmer who placed 5th, said it was a crazy first experience.

“Through each of the races, we progressed. In the final we had a tremendous first thousand. I don’t think anyone’s challenged the states for quite a few years like that,” she said.

The 19 year old stroke seat for the Canadian Women’s eight said through the week there were some fairly windy conditions, but in the final thousand metres when the wind hit them they struggled a bit.

“We’re all really proud of the way we attacked it from the start,” she said.

Both athletes said they are happy to be home, but for Filmer, it’s only a short time as she has to leave to continue her studies at The University of California, Berkeley hoping to major in environmental science and continue rowing there.

“It’s crazy, it’s only a day, like 30 hours but I mean 30 hours is better than none,  so it’s phenomenal.”

Greeted by family and friends, Filmer said her parents, her aunt and her grandparents were able to go down to watch her.

“Before racing I met my family each day for an hour and it was a nice spot (the Canadian House) for families of all the athletes to gather and watch their events and then celebrate after events,” she said.

Langerfeld too is happy to be home after what he said was a long six week trip.

“This was a long trip for us… so it feels really good to be back home.”