BRANTFORD -- Brantford is celebrating its first athlete from the city to win an Olympic medal.

A ceremony was held on Friday at Lions Park for Erika Polidori, who won bronze at the Tokyo Games as a member of the Canadian women's softball team.

Erika grew up playing in the city and was a member of the Brantford Bobcats.

"A lot of games and practices here and to come back for this event was a full-circle moment," the Team Canada outfielder said.

Canada beat Brazil 3-2 in the match for the bronze.

"It was pretty surreal," Erika said. "The kind of moments that you think about, dream about."

Her parents say they couldn't be happier for their daughter.

"As a mom, I’m thrilled for her," Cheryl Polidori said. "The other girls, I refer to them as my other daughters. I'm just over the moon proud."

Erika's former childhood coach said he isn't surprised she took home a medal.

"She's always been a top athlete, very driven and focused and always wanted to excel," said Todd Bannister.

Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis called Erika a great ambassador who is inspiring youth in the community.

"She's a hero in more ways than one," he said. "Throughout the preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, not only did she train but she was a front-line medical worker."

Dozens of Brantford residents flocked to Lions Park on Friday to meet the new medalist.

"To have all this support that I've had it makes me honestly emotional and it's been a big part of my journey," Erika said.