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Sailor Ben Ainslie rides the wave of his rock star welcome

16 AUGUST 2012

With his sunglasses, designer stubble and mega-watt smile, Olympic hero Ben Ainslie could pass for a rock star.

And that was exactly how crowds treated him as he and fellow Team GB colleagues embarked on an open-top bus tour of Weymouth and Portland.


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Ben proudly donned his gold medal around his neck and showed it off to the crowds who clamoured below to catch a glimpse of glory.

"This is the biggest and heaviest medal we've seen over the years," he told them.

"It has been in my pocket for the last week or so, and then eventually my mum and dad will look after it."

His prize from London 2012 will join the four other Olympic gold medals that already adorn his mantelpiece.

 

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During the victory run, thousands of people lined the route to see Ben and his team mates, who included Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell. 

Both snared silver in the 470 class competition – a two person dinghy event.

But it was Ben who drew the loudest cheers. As Britain's most decorated sailor, he broke records by becoming the first person to win medals at five different Olympic Games, most recently tasting victory off the shores of Weymouth and Portland .

"We've been based here for the last three or four years and after the support we've had from the local community and through the Games themselves, it's great for us to be able to give something back and say thanks," he told local press.

"To see the turnout today – It really is the people's games."

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