WATCH: Thank-you Tia-Clair in a golden afternoon
THEY came in their hundreds.
The public of Gladstone streamed in to see Commonwealth Games weightlifting gold medallist Tia-Clair Toomey at the Gladstone Tondoon Botanic Gardens yesterday.
The ratio of the crowd would have been at least 50-50 adult-child - such is the impact Tia's achievements which include a World Championships at the CrossFit Games last year - has done.
"Thank-you so much to everyone who has come out," she said with a beaming smile that has captured the hearts of millions around the globe.
"I'm really actually taken aback and I didn't realise there'd be so many people and it's such an honour to have been able to go down to the Commonwealth Games and represent Gladstone."
"I've lived here now for a fair few years and train out at CrossFit Gladstone and just constantly always getting the good luck and congratulations and it's such an honour to have been able to celebrate with you all."
With the presence of youngsters at the scenic gardens, Tia said that bit does not matter where people come from.
They have as much chance as those from cities, to achieve greatness.
Tia said what she has done offers hope from those in rural regions.
"I definitely believe that anyone, if they put their minds to it and work really hard, they'd be able to do that," she said.
Gladstone Region councillor Desley O'Grady helped make Tia's appreciation day possible.