HUNDREDS of clapping spectators gathered in front of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on Friday evening, to welcome home our Olympians and Paralympians.

Tredegar's own Paralympic gold medallist, Mark Colbourne, told the Argus of the euphoria he felt at winning a gold medal at a home Games.

The 42-year-old cyclist said: "For me the race on the Thursday, the 1km sprint, it's not my preferred event, but I felt I had a lot of family support with my mum and my daughter being there, and my dad there in spirit with me.

"On Friday in the 3km pursuit and the final that evening, I had thoughts running through my mind that my dad and I were just sat on the top of Tredegar mountain reflecting on my success of being at the Games. So when the race got underway my mind was completely blank.

"When you train for such a long time the body does it automatically.

"When cycling to your maximum there's no pain or exhaustion, only euphoria.

"You put yourself in the zone."

After a paragliding accident in 2009 transformed Mark's life and career, he said he would return to Rhossili only with a gold medal in hand.

Now that he has it, will he return?

Mark said: "Yes I will go back, definitely, in the next six weeks to visit Rhossili and maybe just thank the Gower for changing my life forever."

Mark confirmed he has not yet seen Tredegar's golden post box in honour of his gold medal, but that he would be seeing it very soon.

"To every single person in Tredegar who has sent me congratulations through text and Facebook, I'd like to personally them on behalf of myself and my family."

Mark has previously described his late father Cecil, who died in February, as his best friend.

When asked what his father would say about Mark's Paralympic success, he said: "Before I started with British Cycling my dad was unsure if I should go back to work or pursue this. I think he would say, 'Congratulations, and well done for making the family very proud."