Olympians return home
Great Britain's athletes celebrated their most successful Olympics in 100 years by flying to Heathrow in a plane with a golden nose. Then, to cheers from a capacity airport crowd, they exited the plane in a merit-based hierarchy, with triple gold-medalist Chris Hoy leading the way.
British competitors won 19 golds in Beijing to finish fourth in the medal table with a haul of 47 medals.
The team landed at Heathrow Airport on a dedicated British Airways Boeing 747 featuring a special gold medal "nose".
The biggest cheer was for the first sight of all the gold medallists led by Becky Adlington and Chris Hoy.
Hoy, triple gold-medallist in the velodrome, said: "It's quite overwhelming. It's an incredible reception. You're living in a bubble in the Olympic village and it's only when you land and see quite how many people have turned up you realise - it's incredible.
"I'm going to take a couple of months off but it hasn't really sunk in yet.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics were exciting, but Angie Loy, the leading scorer on the U.S. women's field hockey team, couldn't wait to return to her family's dairy farm in Perry County to milk the cows once the games ended.
As acrobats, dancers and fireworks closed the Olympics at Beijing's National Stadium on Sunday, Loy was in the U.S., driving cross-country from California to Pennsylvania with a teammate, sightseeing as she heads to the farm outside Loysville where she spent her youth doing chores.
"It's nice to get back home and get some home cooking -- just the relaxation and quietness," she said.
Thailand's Olympics delegation returned to Bangkok Monday after completing their mission in Beijing where the Olympic Games 2008 closed on Sunday.
The squad, led by gold and silver boxing medalists Somjit Jongjohor and Manus Boonjumnong, arrived at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport to be welcomed by the athletes' families and a crowd of well wishers.
To Team South Africa, though, we would like to say “welcome back home from what should have been an enjoyable holiday in Beijing”.
What else can we say? We had 137 of them here but we only managed one silver medal, courtesy of Khotso Mokoena in the long jump.
This is a scandal and the SA Sports and Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) owes the nation and Parliament an explanation.
It is hard to believe Macedonia didn’t win a medal at the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing. I could have omitted my sarcasm, but just couldn’t help it.
Given how criminally underfunded (if at all) sport is in Macedonia, it is an absolute miracle we had two athletes in Beijing that had an Olympic A norm. The other five athletes had neither Olympic A, nor B norm, rather, they were on a wild card, which is another word for a “guest”. I could have been a guest, and placed last.
It wouldn’t and it isn’t fair to blame our athletes.
How low have we sunk?
We are importing foreign wrestlers! This is like importing peppers or watermelons!
he New Zealand Olympic Team will return to New Zealand this Wednesday. Arriving on a direct Air New Zealand flight from Beijing (NZ1186) the athletes and support team will be looking forward to seeing friends and family.
"Some of team have been away from home for months now," said chef de mission, Dave Currie. "With training and acclimatising taking place in Europe and parts of Asia ahead of the Olympic Games many athletes left New Zealand in April.