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Victoria’s Ryan Cochrane was one of three Olympians honoured today in a ‘Welcome Home from Rio’ event at the RBC Main Branch on Douglas Street. Two-time Olympic medalist Cochrane, was joined by rower Will Dean and swimmer Emily Overholt. The three RBC-sponsored athletes were presented with a commemorative photo and talked about their Olympic experiences.

For Cochrane, who had high hopes of medaling in the pool again, it was a bitter-sweet moment. He finished sixth in the 1,500m freestyle and 11th in the 400m freestyle. “It was a very humbling games for me and was obviously devastated by the results, but I had incredible support and being part of the team was very special,” he said.

Dean, who hails from Kelowna, has called Victoria home for five years since being on the national team. Rowing on the lightweight coxless 4, he finished fourth in his heat and in the repechage. “I wanted to be an Olympian after I saw Simon Whitfield winning a gold medal in Sydney,” he confessed. “We didn’t get the results we wanted in Rio, but I have been fortunate to work with highly motivated people for five years.”

Overholt from Vancouver won a Bronze medal after helping her team to advance to the 4 x 200 m freestyle relay. “I was brought in at the last minute due to illness and so proud we made it to the podium.”

Cochrane is in his 20th year of swimming competitively and has 11 years on the national team. What does the future hold now for him? “I haven’t really made a decision and I need to get back into the water and see how it feels,” he said. “I will know when it is time to retire and I also know it will be a terrifying decision.” He did hint, however, what his future might have in store: “I would like to inspire the next generation of athletes.”