The celebration began the moment Simone Biles walked into Bush Airport in Houston on Wednesday.
Biles, after winning four gold medals at the Rio Olympics, arrived in her home state of Texas to the sounds of a band, sights of Houston Texans cheerleaders and much more.
Mayor Sylvester Turner declared Wednesday to be “Simone Biles Day” in Houston, handing the gymnast a paper proclamation.
“Hi guys, I’m Simone Biles, and I can’t thank everyone [enough] in all of Houston for coming out to see me today and to welcome me from Rio,” she said, laughing, on a podium at the airport. “I don’t know what else to say, I’m nervous, and I love you guys.”
Later, Biles was given a parade in her hometown of Spring, a Houston suburb, with a police escort.
Biles and the Final Five’s first stop on the way home from Rio was New York, where they went on a media tour earlier this week. They reached the top of the Empire State Building, visited Jimmy Fallon and saw “Hamilton.”
The Final Five will reunite for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities, beginning Sept. 15.Follow @nzaccardi