Olympian Kathleen Baker took home a key to the city of Winston-Salem this weekend, capping off a month of achievement for the swimmer who earned two medals in Rio.

Baker made a public appearance in her hometown for the first time since competing. It drew hundreds of fans, showing just how much star power Olympic attention can bring. The crowd formed a long line that snaked around the shopping center parking lot, as fans gathered for autographs and to get a glimpse of her new medals.

Baker says she knew locals would be following her races in Rio, and she appreciated their cheers.

“It means the world to me to have so much support at home, especially when I'm out of the country and getting to see clips of people watching me swim and how excited everyone gets," she says. "So I really enjoyed that.”

Her advice to younger fans is to believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who believe in you.

"This is literally what I've dreamed about since I was five or six years old," she says. "It doesn't even feel real."

Baker says she'd like to compete again in 2020, but for right now, she's enjoying the moment.

Baker earned a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke and gold as part of the 4x100-meter medley relay. That historic win netted the United States its 1,000th all-time gold medal.

Her return to the Triad was brief. She's set to go back to college at the University of California at Berkeley early this week.

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