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Eurovision-winning drag queen Conchita Wurst returns in triumph to Austria (with video)

BY PHILIPP-MORITZ JENNE
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VIENNA -- Bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst made a triumphant return to Austria on Sunday after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in what the country's president called a victory for tolerance in Europe.

Wurst was greeted at Vienna airport by hundreds of fans singing the winning ballad, "Rise like a Phoenix."

Wurst drew criticism from eastern Europe before Saturday's show, with some blasting her as an example of Western decadence.

However, Austria won points even from Russia. Wurst told a news conference shortly after her arrival in Vienna that shows "you can't reduce a country to its tolerance or intolerance."

"Yesterday was a victory not just for me, but also for those people who believe in future that functions without discrimination and which is based on tolerance and respect," Wurst said. "That was transnational and had nothing to with east and west."

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