Olympian receives warm homecoming
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WEST SENECA, N.Y. — Although the U.S. Olympic volleyball team didn't win a medal last month, Matt Anderson became a household name. He said he's enjoying his celebrity. He said people are coming out of the woodwork.
"(Someone said) my cousin knows this guy that knows this person who played with you and I'm like oh that's great," he said. "What's your name?"
But Anderson's biggest fans remain in his hometown of West Seneca.
"My street, people that I don't even know have signs outside on their front lawn," he said.
Thursday was the first time in years he had a chance to spend time with many of them, thanks to his busy training schedule.
"I'm really genuinely interested in what people have to say because they are my friends and I haven't been able to keep up with them," he said. "But that's why I'm home now."
Friends and family were thrilled to get a chance to see him.
"It's just very special to see somebody you knew since a little boy and watch him as he started playing volleyball, to come along and progress so well and to handle himself so well. He really is a genuine young man," Joanne Capage said.
"That's the way Matt is," former coach Scott Schreiner said. "He's not cocky at all. He takes it all in and you know he's like a normal guy."
It's a short visit for Anderson, who's headed to Russia next week to play professionally.
"I'll go there and play the season, come back, go right to California and start training for National Team again," he said.
He said he'll never forget his experience in London.
"It's just something about the Olympics. I can't really explain it. You just feel it. You grow up as a kid watching it. Regardless of who's playing, it's the best athletes in the world competing for their country," Anderson said.
He said he's looking forward to competing in the games several more times.