The bulk of the Singapore Rio 2016 Paralympic Games contingent returned home on Wednesday morning to a rousing welcome from over 200 fans, who showered the athletes with affectionate hugs as soon as they stepped through the gates.
At the recently concluded Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Singapore clinched two Gold medals and a Bronze medal thanks to the exploits of Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh in the pool. Pin Xiu became the first Singaporean to earn two Gold medals in a single Games, while Goh earned her first medal in four Paralympic outings.
Our TeamSG Paralympians were warmly greeted by Minister Tan Chuan-Jin and fans as they passed through the arrival gates. Photo: Sport Singapore
Also present in the welcoming party were Minister for Social and Family Development and president of the Singapore National Olympic Council Tan Chuan-Jin, Sport Singapore chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin and Singapore Swimming Association president Lee Kok Choy.
The Paralympic team returned home on Singapore airlines flight SQ67 and was greeted with a water canon salute in similar fashion to Joseph Schooling's welcome back.
Long jumper Suhairi Suhaini, archer Nur Syahidah Alim and boccia athlete Toh Sze Ning, who returned home a day earlier, were also present to welcome their teammates.
Chef de Mission Ho Cheng Kwee was heartened by the warm reception and expressed his gratitude to Singaporeans for supporting the contingent’s efforts.
Besides Pin Xiu and Theresa, who have brought Singapore podium glory, other athletes have also set new personal milestones. Norsilawati Sa'at and Suhairi Suhani broke their personal bests while boccia pair Nurulasyiqah Binte Mohammad Taha and Toh Sze Ning beat higher ranked teams in Portugal and Greece.
Pin Xiu was also extremely touched by the welcome.
“We’re very, very overwhelmed by the warm welcome. Thank you very much to all who showed up today at 5am in the morning. We will continue to strive harder and we thank you so much for the support,” she said.
A One Team Singapore Celebratory Parade will be held for the Paralympic contingent on Saturday morning from the Seng Kang Sports Centre to National Library at Victoria Street and ending off at VivoCity. Join our athletes as they make their way around the island to thank you for all your support!
(Click to enlarge)