Bonzer Kylie brings back Beijing bronze
KYLIE Cronk returned home yesterday proudly wearing the Australian tracksuit she hasn't taken off since winning bronze in Beijing.
The Rockhampton softball star was greeted by family and friends on her arrival home at Rockhampton Airport from her first - and maybe last - Olympics.
"It's great to be home," she said, with her Olympic bronze medal hanging around her neck.
Kylie claimed bronze with the Australian women's softball team after what has been described as the "best" game of softball last Wednesday night.
The 24-year-old and her Aussie Spirit team-mates were relegated to bronze after losing 4-3 to eventual gold medallists Japan in a match which lasted a marathon 12 innings and more than three hours.
"It was an emotional roller-coaster, it went up and down the whole game and was an experience I will remember forever."
"I've spoken to a lot of people who have hardly ever watched softball and they said they were on the edge of their seats.
"We gave it all in that last game, absolutely everything, and a lot of people have said it was the best game of softball ever."
Kylie said sharing her medal win in Beijing with her partner, Justin Cagney, mum, Gerry, step-dad, Jamie, future in-laws, Graham and Denise Cagney, and best friend, Danielle Lanson, was extra special.
But despite the match providing a compelling argument for softball's Olympic inclusion, it won't stop the sport being dropped for London in 2012.
"It's disappointing there's no softball at the Olympic Games in London but we're trying very hard to get it back in 2016," said Kylie, who is unsure if she will be around in eight years.
For now, it's back to work for Kylie.
She is a water services technical officer at the Department of Natural Resources and Water.
But it's also time to reflect on her amazing journey to Beijing.
Asked what her immediate plans were, Kylie was quick to reply: "Definitely having a little rest," she said.
"I'm really looking forward to just having some free weekends and doing nothing at all."