Our Singapore paddlers Feng Tian Wei, Li Jia Wei and Wang Yue Gu, and swimmer Tao Li, touched down safely today and headed straight into the arms of hundreds of Singaporeans waiting to give them a warm welcome.
The Raffles City Shopping Centre arena was jam-packed with anxious fans, both young and old. Many were gettng into position to take better close-up shots of their favourite athletes. As you can imagine, there was hardly any breathing space.
Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan and Guest of Honour and Minister for Defence Mr. Teo Chee Hean, were also there to welcome and congratulate our golden athletes.
Homegrown singer JJ Lin and Project Superstar 2 finalists Tan Diya and Carrie Yeo showed off their vocal prowess on stage to keep the atmosphere lively while the crowd waited for our athletes to arrive.
But the crowd did not need any warming up at the sight of Tao Li who was one of the first to appear. It was a media frenzy and we had to tip toe just to catch a good look of the athletes.
Once ushered onstage, Tao Li and the table tennis ladies were visibly touched by the turnout. Jiawei thanked everyone for their support, “This medal belongs to all of us.” Tianwei expressed her utmost gratitude to her head coach, Liu Guodong, for their team’s achievement of a silver medal after 48 years. Tao Li gave her word to continue to train and do her very best and hoped that all of us would continue to give her our support.
The session ended on a high note and the athletes were ushered away for media interviews. Even after Amanda and I left, there were still hordes of young fans who were shouting their idols’ names and cheering for them.
It was truly a heartwarming day that saw Singaporeans standing up to applaud other Singaporeans for their achievements. Well done Team Singapore!