01:00PM, Monday 02 August 2021
Boyn Hill residents braved the elements to welcome home Olympic rowing bronze medallist and Team GB flag bearer, Moe Sbihi, on Saturday evening (July 31).
Heavy rain showers failed to dent the patriotic spirits of Rutland Place and Rutland Road, with people of all ages turning out to greet the local Olympian in style.
More than 50 people came to welcome Moe back from Tokyo, who thanked the scores of well wishers alongside his proud wife Rachel, and their nine month old son, Idris, who live in Rutland Place.
Moe was part of Team GB's mens eight rowing team at the Tokyo Olympics, who came in third, behind Germany and winners New Zealand in the early hours of Friday morning (August 30).
Locals were keen to give Moe, a three time Olympian and gold medal winner at Rio 2016, the warmest of welcomes home after his achievement in what was a nail biting final.
Union Jack flags and bunting adorned properties all along the street, with people clapping and cheering as Moe and his family got back from Heathrow airport just before 7pm.
Olympic rowing bronze medallist and Team GB's flag bearer, Moe Sbihi, received a 'heart-warming welcome home' from Boyn Hill residents on Saturday evening. #teamgb #Olympics #Maidenhead pic.twitter.com/6qw0AanoxV— Daniel Darlington (@Darlington10) August 2, 2021
The heavens opened minutes before he arrived, but the rain eased almost to the second as Moe got out to show off his medal to flag waving locals, who had donned raincoats and umbrellas.
Moe, 33, said: "It was such a heartwarming welcome home from the community and to see all of my neighbours and the Union Jacks out in support, despite the rain, was amazing.
"Given the last 18 months, and the challenges we have all faced, the sense of community has never been stronger in this little corner of Maidenhead. I am forever grateful to them for enduring six months of lockdown home training, with hours and hours of the whirring sound of my rowing machine. I'm just glad that I could bring something home to share with everyone."
Moe's wife, Rachel, 33, added: "We’re hugely proud of Moe, it’s been such a tough couple of years navigating covid and lockdown, so for him to be able to race and come away with a medal is fantastic. As a family we’re hugely grateful to our fellow Rutlanders for all of their support over the last few years. What a community, and what a welcome home!"
Young fan, Albert Wrelton eight, from Rutland Place (pictured below with Moe), said: "It was brilliant to welcome Moe home from Tokyo - I've never seen a real Olympic medal before and it was just totally awesome to see it. I can't believe that I live next door to such a cool guy. Well done, Moe! We're all so proud of you."
Albert's dad, Steve Wrelton, 42, said: "Moe's homecoming was a real boost for everyone on the street after what's been a pretty challenging year. A celebration of one man's amazing dedication and sporting achievement brought everyone together. It was a very emotional experience indeed."
This weekend’s smart motorway closures on the M4 will be shorter than usual due to separate bridge works taking place in West Berkshire (Junctions 13-14)