Saturday, August 30, 2008

Heroes Welcome

Ethiopia welcomes Olympics stars (Read BBC)

The victorious team were given a heroes' welcome in Addis Ababa

Thousands of cheering Ethiopians have lined the streets of the capital, Addis Ababa, to welcome home the country's Olympic gold-medal winning athletes.

Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi was at the airport to greet the team, led by Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba, both of whom won two golds at Beijing.

The team was led from the airport in open-topped cars past ecstatic crowds. Ethiopia traditionally excels at long-distance running and finished 18th overall in the Olympic medal table. The country's athletes brought home from Beijing four gold, one silver and two bronze medals, dramatically improving on their haul at Athens four years ago, when they finished 28th. The airport reception for the athletes was followed by a larger ceremony at Addis Ababa's 30,000-seater National Stadium.

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