RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Henrico's Olympic gold medalist Townley Haas flew back to Richmond on Monday with dozens of friends, family and fans gathering at the airport to celebrate.
Haas won gold in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay Tuesday night, completing the team's second leg. He swam the leg in 1:44:14, the fastest split of the relay by 0.71 seconds.
Haas says competing in Rio and winning the gold is still sinking in, but that it was an honor to represent the United States.
"It's just incredible. That's kind of the dream come true right there when you are hearing that national anthem. It was awesome," said Haas.
Dozens of the 19-year-old's family and friends who waited for him to arrive at RIC were decked out in red, white and, blue, waving American flags and holding #TeamTownley signs.
"We just can't wait to hug him and celebrate. We're so excited and proud of him. He's worked hard," said Haas' aunt Jackie Harvey.
Haas says swimming with Phelps, and watching him compete in his final Olympics was a highlight of Rio.
"It's a huge honor," said Haas of Phelps. "He's by far the greatest of all time and to swim a relay with him, to get the lead that he asked us for it's incredible."
Haas' other teammates were Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer.
As for competing in the 2020 Olympics, Haas says he's definitely going to prepare for it.
He's skipping out of the closing ceremony in Rio to spend time at home with his family before heading back to school at the University of Texas.
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