Silver medal-winning cyclist Ethan Hayter has urged young people to take up the sport as he praised Team GB’s success at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Hayter claimed second place in the men’s Madison relay race with team-mate Matt Walls on Saturday.
The 22-year-old said his neighbours, some of whom he has never met, were outside their houses to applaud him as he arrived home.
He visited the Herne Hill Velodrome in south London on Wednesday, where he has trained since the age of 13.
Speaking to the PA news agency, he said: “It’s not really sunk in yet, it’s a bit strange coming back here and I don’t feel like I should be but I’m treated like a celebrity which is weird.
“I got back and my whole road was out and after getting back from the airport it’s been really nice, in a way it’s meant more to everyone else than it has to me.
“It’s been really nice, everyone has been saying well done and coming up to see me and stuff like that.
“I feel like the same person, I was here eight years ago and the buzz around the Olympics was massive – this time it was me competing which was weird.”
He also praised the success of other British cyclists, saying all the teams did “amazing”.
Asked if young people should take up the sport, Hayter said: “I’d say just enjoy the sport, cycling is a really good community, I didn’t start out to enter the Olympics.
“You start out as a leisure activity and it’s great fun and you get fit along the way.
“It’s hard but I just treat it as another bike race having done plenty of championships and races on the road.
“You have to go through the processes and treat it like any other race to get the consistent performances out.”
Hayter also called for gold medal-winning couple Jason and Laura Kenny to receive knighthoods.
He added: “It was weird being surrounded by people so successful, everyone was so normal – people like Jason Kenny who has won seven Olympic gold medals, the most successful Olympian.
“It’s weird when you sit next to him at dinner – I don’t know the process for getting a knighthood but both Jason and Laura should definitely be up there.”