Patty Mills' three Olympic jerseys lined the inside of a garage door next to a gold banner with the words "boom boom Boomers" crafted nine years ago.
Green and gold balloons line the walls alongside blown up boxing kangaroos, yellow basketballs and a banner presented to Mills and the Boomers by the Mutitjulu people five years ago.
"We couldn't take it to Tokyo, so we had it on the wall up here," Mills' father Benny said from his Canberra home.
Here, where Mills' family and friends cheered and cried as he led the Australian men's basketball team to their first Olympic medal with 42 points in the third place playoff.
Here, where Mills' parents Benny and Yvonne watched their son, voice quivering, declare "it's time to bring an Olympic medal home ... Back to our country, Australia, so I can hang it up at mum and dad's place".
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While the rest of Australia's bottom lips trembled, Benny smiled and perhaps wondered where he was going to find room for the medal inside a makeshift shrine to the a team of Olympic heroes.
They have a saying inside Boomers camp: "gold vibes only". While they fell short of their ultimate goal, they captured the hearts and minds of a nation and return home with bronze.
We cried with our heroes in Tokyo like never before, because this was our Olympics. Not just for Australians, but for a world kept from loved ones during a global pandemic.
Mills' father has never missed an Olympic campaign until now.
"For the past three Olympics I've been there with him, in Beijing, London and Rio," Benny said.
"Unfortunately because of COVID we couldn't be over there with him. It was great to see him very excited with Joe Ingles on FaceTime, showing us the medal.
"He was just so overwhelmed with it all, with the excitement of having accomplished what they set out to do, which was to get a medal.
"You can see the drive and determination in how he played, he was going for it come rain, snow or high water."
We had seen Mills' message to his family at the same time they saw it. We saw the Boomers on the podium with the Australian, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Island flags. We saw Gen Gregson's pain. We heard Kaylee McKeown's "f--k yeah", which would usually be reserved for a somewhat private embrace in the stands.
We'll likely never see a Games like this again. One would hope the virus subsides by 2024 and family and friends can be present in the stands. They and the athletes would prefer it, but the viewer experience will be different. That's why this one was special.
Tokyo stadiums were empty. Those lining Sapporo streets for marathons and cycling were among the few to witness the Games first-hand.
But while the cheers of Mills and his teammates echoed around the Saitama Super Arena, a nation roared and cried with them. They knew it too, such were the responses when asked what this breakthrough medal means to the Boomers.
"I think the answer to that is what it means to the rest of our country," Mills said.
As the closing ceremony drew closer, Mills and the Boomers brought those emotions to the surface. While it isn't all about Patty, so much of the narrative rightly revolves around him. This is a moment he has wanted since he watched his idol Cathy Freeman win gold 21 years ago.
An opportunity he and Ingles have been dreaming of since the AIS teammates drove around Canberra in Mills' old Mazda 626.
"We've been waiting for this moment for a long time," Mills told Channel Seven.
"There's been a lot experiences, a lot of ups, a lot of downs, for us to get over the hump. It's our culture at the end of the day, Australian culture, our Aussie spirit, the boys being able to hang together and understanding what it means to represent your country and how deep the layers go.
"I don't know whether to cry, laugh, smile, there's a lot of emotions. For us older guys who've been through a lot, for the younger boys that have come into this, they really understand now what it means to be a Boomer and hopefully the rest of the country does as well."
Forget for a moment the Olympics we needed. Patty is the leader we crave. Determined, measured, the human we should aspire to be more like.
Mills won that medal for everyone who went before him as much as he did himself. For for his parents, for Australian basketball's icons of the past, not least of which Andrew and Lindsay Gaze.
A player in one and coach of four Olympic campaigns, Lindsay Gaze was among the first basketball administrators when the sport was in its infancy in Australia. Andrew then played in five Olympic campaigns and lost three bronze medal playoffs.
"I am so grateful that at 85, 86 years of age, [Lindsay] is able to see this," Andrew said as he fought back tears on Channel Seven.
"Selfishly, I feel a part of it, to see Patty and the boys [celebrating]. In '88, '96, 2000, they're beautiful journeys.
"You feel like you're responsible for some hardships, some devastation, but this is all part of the building blocks.
"I think of those that have been along for the journey and have their DNA on it. There's so many that toiled, when you don't get a cent, you're building a sport, trying to generate it. I'm so grateful."
Because as much as this is for Mills and those who went before, this medal is for the kids who will follow. Just as Freeman's iconic gold was for him.
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