Some of the University of Virginia's Olympic athletes got a big welcome home celebration at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport Monday night.
Team USA field hockey players Paige Selenski and Michelle Vittese, both rising seniors at UVA, were greeted at the airport by the entire UVa field hockey team.
Also on the same plane back to Charlottesville was UVa swimmer Lauren Perdue, who won a gold medal in London as part of the United States 4x200 meter freestyle relay team.
Perdue says, "I loved being a part of that relay, and the girls that I was competing against were just great sports and great teammates. I was the leadoff of the 4x200 relay, so knowing that they were behind me and knowing that they had my back was a great feeling."
Perdue was not wearing her medal at the airport Monday night.
She says, "I actually shipped it home with my father earlier this week just to be safe. I stayed back in London for a few more days, so I didn't want risk getting it lost or stolen or losing it or something like that."
The USA field hockey team did not earn a medal in the Olympics, but it was a valuable experience for Selenski and Vittese.
Selenski says, "Those moments where the really great teams capitalize on were the ones we let go. If we keep up until the last possible second, and it comes with time, and it comes with learning, and we have to be patient and really understand that that's how the game is played."
Vittese says, "We can take everything we've learned this whole past year and bring it onto the field here and share it to the girls on the UVA team, and I think that's going to be really important, and it's going to make them better players as well."
Both Vittese and Selenski were unsure if they would try to play for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Marty Hudtloff is the Sports Director at WVIR-TV. He joined the NBC29 sports team in October of 2003. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Bradley University. You can reach out to Marty via Email or Twitter.