Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans filled James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to welcome the team — and the Grey Cup — home.
The Bombers had asked fans to greet them and the CFL’s top prize after they touched down at the airport Monday afternoon.
And the Blue and Gold faithful didn’t disappoint.
The team was expected to arrive 3 p.m. but hundreds of fans were already lined up to see them by 2:30 p.m.
“This is awesome, this is everything we did it for,” said linebacker Adam Bighill, as he walked into the main terminal to the screams of fans.
“To bring this thing back home to Winnipeg, all the fans of the Blue and Gold, all of Manitoba — this is for you guys.”
Chants of “MVP” and “O’Shea, O’Shea, O’Shea” echoed through the airport as the team made their way through the arrivals section, many stopping to sign autographs and meet the fans.
In the excitement, the top of the Grey Cup appeared to break apart from the bottom while the team carried it toward the crowd.
Players helped each other to hold the cup together while they took turns hoisting it over their heads to the delight of those gathered at the airport.
“This is the Grey Cup, something that the City of Winnipeg has been waiting so long for,” said a smiling defensive lineman, Willie Jefferson, as he cradled the cup.
“I’m so happy to be part of the team, the organization, and the community to help bring this back to the city.”
The Bombers are flying high following Sunday’s 33-12 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 107th Grey Cup.
The win ends a 29-year drought for the team and their faithful fans in Winnipeg.
The party continues Tuesday when a parade is planned to celebrate the big win.