Maitland's golden girl Maddi Elliott is still a humble champion.
McDonald’s and huge hugs from her mum and grandparents were all the reward she wanted after flying back into Sydney with the Australian Paralympics team on a specially chartered Qantas flight from Rio.
“To see them after 30 days was one of the best moments of my life,” she said.
“It was just mum, nan and pop who were in Sydney. My sister couldn’t come down because she was at work otherwise she would have given me a big hug too.”
Elliott’s guilty pleasure after finishing with a throng of media was a visit to McDonald’s before the drive home to the Hunter.
“Maccas was good. Unfortunately it was too early in the morning to go to Ribs and Rump, which is my favourite.
“I’m really looking forward to the lamb ribs next time I’m in Sydney.”
When prompted that as a gold medallist and world record holder they probably would have opened early for her, Elliott joked: “You would hope so. I’ll have to remember that next time.”
The other trapping of sporting stardom that Elliott enjoyed was flying business class on the flight home.
“I love business class. I flew economy going over to America for our training camp before the Paralympics,” she said.
With the excitement of three gold and two silver medals to choose from, Elliott said her victory in the 50m freestyle was her favourite moment in Rio, followed by 4x100m freestyle relay win.
“The 50 freestyle, it was a bit of an emotional time in the water once I found out my time because I’ve been trying to get under 30 seconds for three years,” she said.
“To get under this year at the Paralympics and not just by a little margin, by a massive margin it was unreal.
“I think it was the highlight. and then breaking the world record by four seconds in the freestyle relay.
“It was the day before my 50. I just focused on my own race plan. I didn’t try to focus on breaking the world record.”
Elliot said her results had exceeded her expectations.
”I went into the games with not high expectations. My expectations were to try and make the final and just do personal bests,” she said.
“I exceeded all those goals and happened to come out with medals.
Elliott said sticking to her routine and having fun helped her with the pressure and outside expectations.
”I have a good time before I get into the marshalling area. Once I’m in there I focus on my race time.
“I’m completely in zone with my music when I’m in the marshalling area. I listen to anything whatever comes on I listen to it.”
Did that include Brazil’s famous rumbas?
“I don’t play any music that I can dance to otherwise I would be dancing in the marshalling area,” she laughed