While Kenya Olympic heroes went back home to same old mediocrity, other countries dignified their heroes

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While the Kenyan team went back home with arguably the best Olympic performance, the reality is that team went back home to be welcomed by the same mediocrity and corruption that almost threatened Kenya’s participation in the games. It is not strange therefore that many medalists returned home incognito-proud of what they did in Rio, but not willing to been seen laughing and merry-making with the same officials who made their journey to Rio almost hell on earth.

While this was the case with Kenya, other countries, at least which are serious with sports and what they do for their country went all out to make their heroes feel welcomed back home and at the very least, appreciated.

Australia

The Australian team of more than 300 Olympians returned home to an official welcome, with the biggest hugs coming from their families.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Governor-General Peter Cosgrove greeted chef de mission Kitty Chiller and flag bearers Anna Meares and Kim Brennan as they left the plane on Thursday morning.

‘This is a family occasion. The big Australian family – 24 million of us,’ Mr Turnbull said to the Sydney airport crowd.

‘I know you felt in your heart the support of the whole nation as we celebrated your successes and as we watched you write the latest chapter of Olympic history.

‘We embrace you, we applaud you, we have been inspired by you, we are so proud of you.’

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Sport Minister Sussan Ley also greeted the lead team.

Medal winners travelled business class on the Qantas charters, which rowing gold medallist Brennan described as a ‘real treat’.

‘This has been a wonderful team to be a part of, a great team to lead and I couldn’t ask for a better way to start Rio and come home,’ she told Seven.

Family members greeted the other athletes with hugs and kisses in a ceremony at the Qantas hangar.

Australia finished 10th in the final medal standings with 8 gold, 11 silver, and 10 bronze medals.

Great Britain:

Arriving in a plane with a gold-painted nose cone and “victoRIOus” emblazoned on the livery, Britain’s Olympic team returned home Tuesday to jubilant scenes after the country’s record-breaking medal haul in Brazil.

Britain won 67 medals to finish second in the gold medal table, behind the United States, and became the first country to improve on a home medal haul at the next games, having collected 65 at the 2012 Olympics in London

The plane carried back poles for the pole vault, bicycles, javelins and a 6.7-metre sail, while 77 bottles of champagne and a three-course menu were on offer.

Team GB’s official Twitter feed even sent a tongue-in-cheek apology to Heathrow airport following the squad’s arrival at Terminal 5.

“Sorry @HeathrowAirport, people may be late for flights. Everyone is stopping to welcome @TeamGB home!#VictoRIOus.”

Canada:

With medals in tow, Canadian athletes received a heroes’ welcome as they touched down on home soil following a 22-medal run at the Summer Games in Rio.

Early Tuesday morning, friends, family and strangers were on hand to greet the returning Olympians, including Penny Oleksiak and Rosie MacLennan, as their plane touched down at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

When the flights arrived, the returning athletes were saluted with giant arcs of water on the tarmac.

Canada won 22 medals, including four golds, at the Rio Olympics.

Fiji:

Tens of thousands of Fijians turned out at the airport the team’s arrival home. Supporters lined the streets, cheering and waving flags, from Nadi International Airport to Prince Charles Park where close to 8,000 fans greeted the team.

India:

Dipa Karmakar, who finished a historic fourth in gymnastics at the just concluded Rio Olympics 2016, was given a rousing welcome on her return home.

Thousands of people gathered at the Swami Vivekananda stadium waving the tricolor and burst crackers to cheer Dipa, the first Indian woman gymnast to compete in Olympics and the first to do so in 52 years.

Expressing happiness over the performance of women athletes from the country in the Olympics, she said, “I appeal to all – save the girl child and encourage the girl child.”

Dipa, a sports officer in the department of Sports and Youth affairs, was promoted to be  an assistant director of the department and her coach, who is an assistant director, was promoted to serve as deputy director

The chief minister also announced that the government has taken the initiative to make a world-class gymnasium where Dipa would get all facilities so that she could equip herself for the coming competitions.

Tripura Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty announced that all schools and colleges of the state would remain closed on Tuesday in honor of Dipa.

In , Sakshi Malik was appointed as the brand ambassador of the Prime Minister’s flagship ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign. She was also presented with a cheque of Rs 2.5 crore for her bronze medal win in Rio.

South Korea:

The main contingent of South Korean athletes to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics came home to a heroes’ welcome Wednesday after 17 days of competition in Brazil.

South Korea was represented by 333 athletes and officials in 24 of 28 sports at the Aug. 5-21 Rio Games. The country had set out to capture at least 10 gold medals and place inside the top 10 in the gold medal count for its fourth consecutive Olympics.

It did not meet the gold medal target with nine gold medals, but it finished eighth place overall among the 206 countries that competed in Rio. Besides the gold medals, the country won three silver and nine bronze medals.

The delegation was officially disbanded after Chung Mong-gyu, South Korea’s chef de mission, reported their performance at the Rio Games and handed the national flag to Kang Young-joong, co-chief of the Korean Olympic Committee.

“Our athletes were people’s hope and joy during the Olympics,” Kang said in his welcoming speech. “You gave us confidence that we can reach our goals through hard work and moved our heart with your efforts.”

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Kim Jong-deok said South Korea will move forward with Olympic spirit as the country is set to host their first Winter Games in 2018 in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province.

“Our athletes have raised the country’s image high in the world,” he said. “People’s support and unity that were displayed throughout the Rio Olympics will lead us to a successful hosting of the PyeongChang Winter Games.”

Indonesia:

The Indonesian heroes and heroines received a memorable welcome as they touched down back home from Rio. They traveled on an open-top double-decker bus during a victory parade in Jakarta

Heroes’ welcome for RI OlympiansGold medalists Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, along with eight other shuttlers in the badminton squad, landed at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, a water salute welcoming their aircraft on the apron.

As the group walked into the terminal, a crowd of hundreds containing family, Youth and Sports Ministry officials, fans and journalists cheered them to the rafters.

By the time the Olympians arrived, thousands of people had already packed the sports ministry complex, continuing the celebration with fireworks and nasi tumpeng, or cone-shaped yellow rice with side dishes – traditional delights for celebratory events.

The Rio medalists will enjoy exciting awards from the government and sports federations, with the sports ministry set to hand over a tax-free Rp 5 billion (US$378,200) bonus for each gold medalist, as well as Rp 2 billion for each silver medalist.

The government will also give monthly allowances of Rp 20 million for a gold medalist and Rp 15 million for a silver medalist.

From the sports federations, the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) will provide bonuses of Rp 1 billion each for Tontowi and Liliyana.

Singapore:

Several hundred people waited in long lines at the airport before dawn  to welcome 21-year-old swimmer Joseph Schooling, who finished first in the men’s 100-meter butterfly in Rio. Many wore red, Singapore’s national color, and carried flags or homemade signs.

When the young athlete arrived, the crowd chanted his name, held banners aloft and called out “majulah,” Malay for “onward,” and part of the title of Singapore’s national anthem. Mr. Schooling spent around an hour taking selfies with fans and signing autographs

Several events were scheduled during the day to celebrate Mr. Schooling’s achievement. Local businesses planned their own victory laps, some offering discounts or freebies. Some schools gave presentations telling their pupils how hard work and perseverance led to Mr. Schooling’s success in Rio.

In Parliament, Mr. Schooling was present when a motion was passed to congratulate him on his Olympic performance. Speaking in Parliament Friday, Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said, “I believe for years to come, Singaporeans will remember this moment,” and called Mr. Schooling’s achievement a “milestone” in the country’s sporting history.