Tokyo Olympics medallists return to heros' welcome and honour
- EP News Service
- Aug 09, 2021
NEW DELHI: Olympic medallists including gold medalist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Ravi Dahiya who won bronze and silver medal respectively, Boxer Lovlina Borgohain, who had to settle for a bronze medal at the Tokyo Games and other members of the contingent who arrived at the Delhi airport from Japan, were accorded a grand welcome by their fans, supporters and family members at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.
As they made their way out of the plane to the ground they were swamped by supporters including the airport staff who clamoured for a selfie with the players. They all made their way out of the airport to utter chaos as they were welcomed to a thunderous response with cheering crowds and sounds of dhols and drums.
The Sports Authority of India had earlier tweeted, "Athletics team is back from #Tokyo2020. Let's welcome them by sharing our #Cheer4India messages and encourage them for their future competitions," tweeted.
All the medallist including team members of the bronze medalist Indian men's hockey team and the fourth-placed Indian women's hockey team who had also landed in New Delhi from Tokyo were taken straight to the Ashoka Hotel for a grand felicitation ceremony by the Olympic Athletes Felicitation Ceremony on behalf of the government where they were felicitated by Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Nisith Pramanik and former Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju among others.
Addressing the ceremony, Anurag Thakur said, "We have waited for 121 years for an Olympic medal in athletics and Neeraj Chopra ended that wait. Neeraj, you haven't just won a medal but also the hearts of Indians. You have inspired generations to come in the future."
Kiren Rijiju said that all the athletes have brought great happiness to the country while praising the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in facilitating the preparations of the games and keeping a tab on their performances and being concerned about their wellbeing.
All the medallists were felicitated one by one including all the members of the men's hockey team were felicitated on the podium. Manpreet Singh, the captain of the Indian men's hockey team, said that every Olympian has brought laurels to the country. "All of them deserve applause," Manpreet Singh said to thunderous applause by all. After the ceremony, all the players will be leaving to their respective homes where they await further welcome ceremonies from their states.