ROMULUS, Mich. - Her family knows her as "Schmitty," but to the rest of the world Allison Schmitt is an Olympic champion swimmer.
Just coming off the London Olympics, the Canton native is home. In just a matter of minutes the crowd waiting for her return at Metro Detroit Airport went from being just family, to more than 100 complete strangers.
"I still don't believe everything that has happened," said Schmitt.
In her second Olympic run, the 22-year-old racked up an astounding five medals -- three gold medals, a silver and a bronze. On top of all, that she beat the 200-meter freestyle record, which makes her the fastest freestyle swimmer in the world. Overwhelming? A bit. A role model? Most definitely.
"It's amazing, just being able to inspire someone even one person and change their life it means the world to me," she said.
Schmitt will spend the next two days at home before heading back to school at the University of Georgia. Whether she will make a splash at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, she hopes so, but right now her sights are set on enjoying the moment.
"I've just been so happy, I'm crying now, so glad to be home," said a tearful Schmitt.
Her mother Carolyn is very proud.
"It's been a great couple of weeks, we're very proud of her, proud of her accomplishments and proud of the person she is."
Schmitt's father, Ralph, was happy to share his joy with so many others.
"I know the Olympics are a big deal but when you see all the people here you know how big it really is, it's special and our joy with to share it with everybody."
On Tuesday, there will be a celebration in Schmitt's honor. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Summit on the Park in Canton.
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