PM Yingluck heads heroes’ welcome for returning Thai Olympians


BANGKOK, Aug 14 – Thailand’s Olympic squad returned home Tuesday amid a warm welcome en route from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Siam Paragon shopping mall where Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra headed a government reception in their honour.

People cheered and waved flags welcoming boxing silver medallist Kaew Pongprayoon, weightlifting silver winner Pimsiri Sirikaew and taekwondo bronze medallist Chanatip Sonkham.

Ms Pimsiri returned home last week and she joined other members of the Olympic team at Suvarnabhumi Airport before they left in a parade to Siam Paragon for the government welcome, presided over by Ms Yingluck.

The government gave six million baht each for the silver medallists and four million baht for the bronze medallist.

At Paragon Hall, the premier and Tourism and Sports Minister Chumphon Silpa-archa welcomed the three Thai medalists, took photos with them and invited them for a talk in a private room for 15 minutes.

The premier praised and thanked them for bringing fame to the country.

Special Thai food was served to all the sportsmen returning from London after a month of foreign cuisine. Apart from the contestants, their families received special attention from the media.

The premier presided at the opening ceremony, gave a welcoming speech to the 37 sportsmen, rewarded them with money, and presented plaques to representatives to Thailand’s sports associations.