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Olympians return to all corners of the earth bruised, triumphant and laden with gold

Rio de Janeiro's city mayor Eduardo Paes, left, and the president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman, center, wave the Olympic flag upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro on August 13, 2012.
Rio de Janeiro's city mayor Eduardo Paes, left, and the president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman, center, wave the Olympic flag upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro on August 13, 2012.Vanderlei Almeida / AFP - Getty Images
Kim Hyeon-woo, front right, gold medalist in the Men's 66Kg Greco-Roman wrestling, sports a black eye as he poses with other athletes upon the South Korean national team's arrival in Incheon, west of Seoul on August 14, 2012.
Kim Hyeon-woo, front right, gold medalist in the Men's 66Kg Greco-Roman wrestling, sports a black eye as he poses with other athletes upon the South Korean national team's arrival in Incheon, west of Seoul on August 14, 2012.Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

An aerial view made with the help of an Octocopter, a remote controlled helicopter, shows a ceremony for the Dutch Olympic contestants on a medal-shaped stage at the Stationsplein in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, on August 13, 2012.
An aerial view made with the help of an Octocopter, a remote controlled helicopter, shows a ceremony for the Dutch Olympic contestants on a medal-shaped stage at the Stationsplein in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, on August 13, 2012.Paul Raats / EPA

Japanese women's volleyball captain Erika Araki, left, and her teammates are welcomed by wellwishers upon their return from the London 2012 Olympic Games at Narita airport, outside Tokyo, on August 14, 2012.
Japanese women's volleyball captain Erika Araki, left, and her teammates are welcomed by wellwishers upon their return from the London 2012 Olympic Games at Narita airport, outside Tokyo, on August 14, 2012.Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP - Getty Images

Taekwondo bronze medalist Rohullah Nikpai waves to the crowd during a procession for his homecoming in Kabul , Afghanistan, on August 14, 2012. Hundreds of jubilant Afghans packed the national stadium to welcome the nation's second Olympic medal winner.
Taekwondo bronze medalist Rohullah Nikpai waves to the crowd during a procession for his homecoming in Kabul , Afghanistan, on August 14, 2012. Hundreds of jubilant Afghans packed the national stadium to welcome the nation's second Olympic medal winner.Omar Sobhani / Reuters

Qatar's Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, center, son of the Emir of Qatar (and not an Olympic competitor, despite the medal), welcomes Nasser al-Attiyah, right, bronze medalist in the skeet men's final, and Mutaz Essa Barshim, left, bronze winner in the men's high jump, upon their arrival in Doha, Qatar on August 13, 2012.
Qatar's Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, center, son of the Emir of Qatar (and not an Olympic competitor, despite the medal), welcomes Nasser al-Attiyah, right, bronze medalist in the skeet men's final, and Mutaz Essa Barshim, left, bronze winner in the men's high jump, upon their arrival in Doha, Qatar on August 13, 2012.AFP - Getty Images

Members of the Russian Olympic national team show their medals upon their arrival at Sheremetyevo international airport in Moscow on August 13, 2012.
Members of the Russian Olympic national team show their medals upon their arrival at Sheremetyevo international airport in Moscow on August 13, 2012.Alexander Nemenov / AFP - Getty Images

Brazil's volleyball player Adenizia Silva poses for a photograph with a fan in Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 13, 2012. Brazil's women produced a dazzling comeback to win Olympic volleyball gold on Saturday, prompting a sneak preview of what life might be like in Rio de Janeiro in four years time.
Brazil's volleyball player Adenizia Silva poses for a photograph with a fan in Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 13, 2012. Brazil's women produced a dazzling comeback to win Olympic volleyball gold on Saturday, prompting a sneak preview of what life might be like in Rio de Janeiro in four years time.Paulo Whitaker / Reuters

Taoufik Makhloufi, left, who won the gold medal in the men's 1500m final, parades in a car upon his return to Algiers, Algeria, on August 13, 2012. Makhloufi is the only Algerian among the 39 participants in the London Olympics to win a medal.
Taoufik Makhloufi, left, who won the gold medal in the men's 1500m final, parades in a car upon his return to Algiers, Algeria, on August 13, 2012. Makhloufi is the only Algerian among the 39 participants in the London Olympics to win a medal.EPA

Rio de Janeiro's city mayor Eduardo Paes, left, and the president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman, center, wave the Olympic flag upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro on August 13, 2012.
Rio de Janeiro's city mayor Eduardo Paes, left, and the president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman, center, wave the Olympic flag upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro on August 13, 2012.Vanderlei Almeida / AFP - Getty Images

Click for more of the best images from the 2012 summer games in London.
Click for more of the best images from the 2012 summer games in London.