When Britain's Paralympians got home, the party got started.

The British Paralympic athletes just got back from Rio, and they were welcomed home with much fanfare.

From Sept. 7 to 18, athletes with disabilities from around the world competed in the Paralympic Games in Rio. If you didn't see or hear much about it, that's probably because TV coverage for the Paralympic Games — while increasing — is still small compared to the pomp and circumstance of the Olympics.

Anne Dickens waves to fans at Heathrow Airport. Dickens won gold as a paracanoeist. Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images.


Upon returning to Heathrow Airport in London, Britain's Paralympic champions were greeted by a huge cheering crowd of family, friends, and fans. The celebration was well earned too, as the team brought home more medals than any British team since 1988: 147 total, 64 of them gold.

Among the returning athletes was cyclist Sarah Storey, who couldn't believe how big the welcoming party was.

Storey is the most decorated British Paralympian in history and won her 14th gold medal at the 2016 games.

Gold medalist Sarah Storey. Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images.

"It's been amazing. It's just sensational," Storey said. "I can't believe how much support there is. This is the first time I've ever had this coming home, on this scale. I've never been home on a gold-nosed plane before."

That's right, the British Paralympic athletes were flown home on a gold-nosed plane filled with champagne.

Photo via British Airways/Twitter.

The queen also offered praise to the Paralympic champions, calling their performance at the games "magnificent."

"I offer my warmest congratulations to the athletes of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and indeed to the athletes of all Commonwealth countries, for their many successes in Rio de Janeiro," the queen said.

"I send my good wishes to all those who have contributed to the success of these memorable Games."

Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images.

The athletes were pretty thrilled to be home after their past few weeks in Rio.

Champions like Abbie Hunnisett, who competed in women's club throw, were greeted by an adoring crowd for photos and autographs.

Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images.

They'll spend the next few days with family, resting and basking in the glory of being national heroes. They'll also be marching in a parade in October and partying in London at a "grand celebration."

Paralympians are not only world-class athletes, they're incredible inspirations.

Kadeena Cox, who won two gold medals in running and cycling, arrives home from Rio. Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images.

Their stories and accomplishments are a reminder that — through hard work and dedication — all bodies are capable of great things.

There's been a strong effort this year to increase visibility of the Paralympic Games — from the #FillTheSeats campaign to Vogue Brazil's well-intentioned but completely misguided Photoshop stunt.

Just like their peers at the Olympics, athletes at the Paralympics deserve to be welcomed home with accolades and celebration. We dedicate weeks and hours and months of coverage to the Olympics, and the Paralympics should be the same. Siloing Paralympic athletes off to the side in a separate, less covered set of games only serves to reinforce the narrative that people with disabilities aren't as good or as worthy of being recognized as other people are.

Britain pulling out all the stops to welcome their Paralympic champions is a great way to make sure these athletes are getting the attention they deserve, and it's something more countries should do. With four years until the next Paralympic Games, that's more than enough time to make sure they have the welcome home of a lifetime.

Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.