LACHI Sharp is back on home soil after the experience of a lifetime.
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The 24 year-old Lithgow product flew out from Tokyo on Saturday to Perth where he's now in the required two-week isolation and reflecting on his time at the 2020 Olympics.
Sharp and the Kookaburras brought home the silver after narrowly going down to powerhouse Belgium in the final that came down to a shootout.
"Shootouts are tough. They're a bit of a lottery at the time. We gained confidence in the shootouts after defeating Holland in the quarter final quite easily and we were well practiced and aware that games are won on shootouts," Sharp said.
"Belgium are a quality team and for those that watched they would've seen that. I was confident our boys could get the job done but the luck just didn't go our way and that's sport," he said.
Despite putting their all in and missing out on the gold, Sharp said he was looking at the bigger picture.
"A silver medal for me gets more special every day," he said.
"To think that a boy from a small country town of Lithgow gets to represent his hometown on the world stage and win a medal at the Olympics is just an amazing feeling and one I will cherish for the rest of my life," he said.
Sharp said heading into the Games the Kookaburras always had the expectation they would go well and end up in the medal matches, and they did.
"Immediately after the game there was a sense of disappointment which is to be expected," he said.
"You work so hard for your goals and you only get one chance at it, so to see that slip away really hurt, but over the last few days I've had time to reflect on these events and what it means to me on a personal level and in the big picture.
"I've seen many comments on how it has impacted peoples lives right across Australia, so for me that is one of the most satisfying things," he said.
He said being at Tokyo 2020 was an "amazing experience" and he was eternally grateful.
"For me to be at the age of 24, and be able to attend the Olympics in the present world we live in is an amazing opportunity."
"There were many people doubting the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and AOC (Australian Olympic Committee) but they along with the Japanese Government put together an amazing experience and one that will be remembered for a long time."
"I believe it put a smile on a lot of people's faces who may have been in lockdown during this time so that makes it all worth it too," he said.
Once Sharp finishes hotel quarantine he will get back to life in Perth, playing hockey, working and studying before a Covid-pending HockeyOne league commences in October.
"Our centralised hockey program in Perth is finished for the year and we are off contract, so some boys are playing a season in Europe, some will resume working and we hope the second edition of the HockeyOne league will go ahead in October," he said.
"I'm doing hotel quarantine at the moment so if anyone has any tips to make time fly then please send them through," he laughed.
Sharp wanted to thank the greater Lithgow community for their wonderful messages and support.
"I'd like to thank the schools of Lithgow for getting behind me and the Kookaburras, businesses for decorating their shopfronts and of course my family for the ongoing support they provide me," he said.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I expect this kind of response from the people at home."
"I cant wait to get home and share the medal with the people of Lithgow," he said.
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