Surrounded by loved ones, Mitch Brown and his father Mike embrace whānau at the Berlin Special Olympics. Photo / Supplied

Golfing Sensation, Mitch Brown gets Hero’s homecoming

Golfing sensation Mitch Brown, hailed a hero, was welcomed back to Aotea with rapturous applause after his remarkable achievement at the Special Olympics in Berlin. 

Around 50 Aotea whānau eagerly gathered at Claris Airport to celebrate his return this afternoon. 

As he stepped off the plane, Queen’s iconic anthem “We Are the Champions” played, setting the tone for an exuberant reception. 

The crowd erupted into a raucous cheer as Brown crossed the tarmac. Locals formed a guard of honor using around two dozen golf clubs.

Brown was accompanied by his caddie and proud dad, Mike, who was affectionately branded “coach of the year” by the crowd. 

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He had his characteristically infectious smile from ear to ear. 

Many tamariki, off on school break made posters in honor of the local hero. 

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

One in particular dubbed him Barrier’s “Golden Boy,”.

Emerging victorious with a coveted Gold medal, Brown showcased exceptional skill and determination in Berlin.

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

Starting the final round with a commanding 12-shot lead, Brown faced a formidable challenge from Denmark’s Frederik Brokfelt-Christiansen. 

Reflecting on the intense competition, Brown shared, “It was really tough out there, and I got a bit nervous because Fred was catching up to me. But I managed to stay focused and composed.” 

Brown’s resolve propelled him to top place on the podium with an impressive four-stroke lead over his rivals.

Australian golfer Kane Leonard claimed the third-place spot, among the impressive duo.

The significance of this triumph was not lost on Brown’s father, Mike.

Recalling their journey, he reminisced,

“A few years ago, when I told Mitch about Special Olympics and the World Summer Games in Berlin in 2023, he said, ‘I’m going to go there and win gold.'” 

The realization of the long-cherished dream’s brought elation to whānau and the entire community, during a tough time for the motu.

Expressing his joy, Mitch Brown stated, “My goal was to bring back gold, and now I have done it,”.

“I’m very proud and I feel really excited.” 

Brown attributed his success to the unwavering support he received, particularly from his family.

“Having so much family here was great,” he said.

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