Iowans Love Their Olympians

More than 5,000 Iowans said “Welcome Home” to Olympians Lolo Jones, Gabby Douglas, Jake Varner, Miranda Leek and Lisa Uhl. Nobody could stop smiling.

More than 5,000 people packed in to welcome the Olympians who live, study or train in Iowa.

This is the Knapp Center at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where the celebration took place. Midwest supermarket chain Hy-Vee organized the event.

Gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas was the main attraction.

“When you go to the Olympics, it’s not just you, it’s all the people behind you,” distance runner Lisa Uhl told the crowd.

Kids waved tiny American flags. “U-S-A” was the chant of the day.

Two-time Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones posed for tons of pictures. All of the Olympians signed autographs (hundreds of them).

Jake Varner rocked the gold medal he earned in wrestling. He couldn’t stop smiling.

Smiles from Shawn Johnson, 2008 all-around gymnastics silver medalist.

Smiles from Gabby Douglas

Smiles from archer Miranda Leek, who declined to shoot an apple off the head of the event emcee. (She could have done it, though.)

Smiles from Lolo Jones.

Smiles from everyone. Yep, Iowans love their Olympians.

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