MINOQUA - Joey Jurries represented the red, white and blue in a worldwide competition in Canada this week.
And he brought home more than just memories.
Minoqua community members gathered to congratulate the Lakeland Union swimmer.
Joey represented team USA at the World Down Syndrome Swim Championships.
He brough home three medals: one gold and two bronze.
Joey's mom Judy said seeing her son walk onto a world stage podium was so special.
"It's something I always dreamed of for him," Judy said. "I dreamt to see it one day. The fact that it happened his first year is beyond, it's beyond words."
Not only did Joey exceed his mother's expectations, but he also broke a national record.
"To hear that he's the first gold in 10 years in the United States just made me realize how much more special this is," Judy said.
And people in Minoqua wanted Joey to know how proud they were of him.
"You can just see that they are very excited that he [Joey] is a part of the Lakeland Union Thunderbird Nation," said Lakeland Union High School Activities Director Phil Updike.
"We can celebrate the small moments and the big moments together and it only brings us together," said Lakeland Union School Board Member Pam Carroll.
Minoqua might be a small town, but it fostered Joey's big goals.
"They say the mustard seed grows into a big tree," said Judy. "We are just a little community and even the little communities can produce real champions."
On the way home from Canada, Joey's luggage actually got pulled by Customs because he had his gold and bronze medals in his suit case.
The security guards laughed when they realized what they were and happily welcomed Joey back into the U.S.
More than 100 people celebrated Joey Friday evening.
Next, he will compete in the 2020 World Tryosme 21 Games in Turkey.