You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Friends and fellow pupils from Southland Boys' High School performed a haka for Strong, who returned home with a gold medal around his neck following the UCI junior track cycling world championships in Switzerland.
The 18-year-old was part of the New Zealand cycling team Skoda Fruzio, who claimed the 4000m team pursuit title at the championships in August.
The achievement had been a "massive goal" for Strong."Once we were over there we were fully focused on the team's pursuit and on the day we executed it perfectly," he said.
"We were a pretty new team but we rode like we'd ridden for years together."
The win really sunk in after the response from people at home, people he considered heroes, had sent him messages of support, he said.
"It sunk in a few hours later when the phone was just blowing up and I could see all the support from New Zealand and how much it actually meant to a lot of people. It was pretty cool."
Southland Boys' High School rector Simon Coe said welcoming a pupil home as a world champion was a proud moment.
"It's great to see boys go from not just wearing the school badge, but actually wearing the silver fern on their chest. Doing it with pride and representing New Zealand, Southland, Southland Boys' and the region," he said.