‘Oscar, Henri and Jana want a hug’

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Copy of IOL oscar REUTERS File photo: South Africa's Oscar Pistorius celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men's 400m T44 at the Olympic Stadium during the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Johannesburg -

Hundreds of people turned out on Tuesday to welcome home South Africa's athletes who competed in the 2012 London Paralympics.

The arrivals section of OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park was filled with the sound of vuvuzelas and ululations, and supporters waving South African flags.

Waiting to receive the athletes were people holding signs saying “welcome back” and individual signs praising their favourite athletes.

“Oscar, Henri and Jana want a hug”, read one from two siblings for sprinter Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius.

Henri and Jana's mother, Lili Potgieter, said her children were big fans of Pistorius.

IOL Para crowd Sports writer Kevin McCallum tweeted this picture of the crowd at OR Tambo as the SA Paralympic team arrived home. Kevin McCallum

“They just think he's great,” she said.

Also present were several disabled athletes including the North West boccia team.

“They all came here to welcome back the paralympians from London,” said player assistant Eva Manganyi.

One of their team players Martin Ramathsa said he was excited to watch fellow disabled athletes compete at the Paralympics.

“I was so satisfied,” said Ramathsa.

South Africa finished in 17th position, securing 29 medals, including eight gold, 12 silver, and nine bronze. - Sapa


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