New Delhi, Aug 26: The Olympic heroes returned home to a heroic welcome the wee hours of morning, amid high fan fare. The Indian contingent including the two bronze medalists, boxer Vijender Kumar and wrestler Sushil Kumar arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Monday, Aug 25 night.
Wrestler Sushil kumar was mobbed by his fans and supporters who had come all the way from Najafgarh to welcome their hero. Sushil won a Bronze medal at the Olympics, 56 years after KD Jadhav had won a medal for India at the Olympics. The euphoria only heightened as Sushil Kumar was welcomed by a spectacular 100-car reception by his fans and supporters.
Hundered cars rolled out of Najafgarh welcome their hero, who created history by winning the 2nd individual medal for India at the Olympics. More than 500 supporters in and around Najafgarh, where Sushil hails from, came to welcome their hero.
It was unique welcome organised by his fans and supporters of the wrestling 'Akhada' where Sushil underwent rigorous training. Excited fans and supporters raised slogans along their way to the Indira Gandhi International Airport before welcoming their hero.
India's other Bronze medalist, Pugilist Vijender Kumar was also surrounded by fans and barely could flash his medal to his supporters. Vijender was the third medalist for India at the Games claiming a Bronze in the 75 kg middleweight category - a first for India in the disciplince.
The Indian contingent, which created history by winning as many as three medals including one Gold, was received by the Union Sports Minister M S Gill at the airport. Shyan Chatterjee, the Director General Sports Authority of India(SAI) along with other important officials of SAI was also present.
Speaking to the media, Sushil Kumar said, "Although I have won Bronze this time, I am confident of winning a Gold medal in the forthcoming Asian and Commonwealth Games in addition to the London Olympics."
Thousands of fans gathered at the airport to welcome the heroes waving the tri coloured flag and chanting slogans in praise of the Beijing Olympic heroes. A placard read 'East or west, Vijender is the best.'
Exuding with confidence, Vijender Kumar urged the other Indian boxers and youngsters to work hard.The unsung hero of the Indian victory story at the Olympics -- Akhil Kumar, who inspired his young boxers was accorded a grand welcome.
The Rohtak-based boxer put up an impressive performance at the Games with his demeanour and attitude. The fans and supporters raised slogans and showered praise on the Bhiwani bull-dozer on his arrival.
Akhil was the first to proceed to the quarterfinals at the Games. He went down fighting, but inspired his teammates to come good at the big stage.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport wore a festive look with most music bands and Banghara bands playing non-stop as Olympic heroes arrived home. Thousands of thronged the airport even before the plane carrying the Indian contingent landed at the Delhi airport.
India won three medals at the Beijing Olympics, their best ever performance at the Summer Games. Earlier, in 1928, India had only won four individual medals, none of them gold, since sending their first team to the Summer Games.
The men's hockey team has won the Olympic tournament eight times. Last time it won gold was in 1980.