PARALYMPIC swimmer Andrew Pasterfield was all smiles when he returned home to Castle Hill this week with a gold and three bronze medals to show for his efforts.
The former Castle Hill Dolphins member flew back to Sydney last Sunday following a heavy Paralympics schedule which saw him compete in six events in 10 days.
Struggling with jetlag, the 22-year-old spoke to the News about his memorable month which "eclipsed all my wildest expectations".
"This was the combination of 15 years of hard work all rolled into one moment," Pasterfield said.
"I couldn't be prouder as I'd only set myself a one medal goal before the Paralympics."
Pasterfield displayed his short-course dominance to first win a bronze medal in the men's S10 50m freestyle event, and then match that feat with bronze in the 100m freestyle final.
But the best was yet to come for Pasterfield with a gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle event.
"I swam the first leg of the race and recorded a personal best split time," he said.
"We were all so excited to win and there was a lot of fist pumping going on at the blocks.
"I don't think I'll ever forget standing on the podium and singing the national anthem with a gold medal around my neck."
Australia's result was all the more impressive given the team broke a long-standing team Great Britain stranglehold on the event.
"We weren't expected to medal so it was really nice to beat the Brits in front of their own home crowd," Pasterfield said.
Pasterfield's fourth and final medal came in the 4x100m medley relay event.
Although he wasn't selected in the final squad he did swim in the preliminary heats and qualified for a bronze medal.
London was Pasterfield's second Paralympics appearance after competing in Beijing four years earlier. He said he wouldn't rule out a tilt at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 but finishing university was now his major focus.