Grovetown Paralympian Scott Winkler was greeted by a group of family and friends at the Augusta Regional Airport Monday night.
Winkler, who finished 13th in the shot put at the London Paralympic Games, arrived home after a long day of travel. He was surprised to see the welcoming committee.
“I didn’t expect all this,” said Winkler.
His wife Brandi put the greeting together.
“Even if he didn’t get gold, he’s more special than any medal,” she said.
Mike Snyder was there to greet his friend.
“He’s a true champion and worked hard to go out and represent his country,” Snyder said. “I’m proud of him for that.”
Winkler said he went through his normal rituals, but on the day of the shot put (Sept. 1), he was the most relaxed he had ever been in a competition. He said he sulked for three or four days afteward, but then came to an important decision, one he texted Brandi about.
“I’m going one more round,” he said of deciding to go for a third Paralympic appearance. “I want to go out on top, and I will.”
Winkler’s next step will be to compete in the Worlds next July in France. But first, Winkler will travel to Washington, D.C. and join the rest of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team at the White House on Thursday.