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Saturday, August 27, 2016, 13:06

Olympic stars arrive in SAR

By chinadailyasia.com

Olympic stars arrive in SAR
A delegation of mainland Olympians at the Rio Games arrives at the Hong Kong airport on Aug 27, 2016. (Parker Zheng/ Chi na Daily)

HONG KONG – A delegation of mainland Olympians at the Rio Games have arrived in Hong Kong, beginning a three-day visit on Saturday to demonstrate their athletic prowess and engage the residents of the SAR.

The 64-member delegation touched down at Hong Kong International Airport at 11.40 am, and emerged in their red and yellow uniforms to be welcomed by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah.

Lam said the visit by the Olympians reflected the central government’s support for Hong Kong and the strong kinship between the people of the mainland and of the SAR. She thanked the General Administration of Sport of China for arranging the visit, which allowed Hong Kong people to get closer with the Olympians and share their triumphs at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Liu Peng, director of China's General Administration of Sport and president of the Chinese Olympic Committee who leads the delegation, said he was touched by the warm welcome of Hong Kong people. Meanwhile, he also appreciated Hong Kong for supporting mainland sports development.

The delegation is comprised of 42 gold medalists including the women’s volleyball squad, badminton star Chen Long, swimmer Sun Yang, diver Wu Minxia and table tennis champions Zhang Jike and Ma Long.

Joining the gold medalists are some popular athletes like two-time Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan,  Chinese woman backstroke bronze medalist Fu Yuanhui,  an internet darling who charmed the world with her exuberant post-match interviews from Rio.

Olympic stars arrive in SAR
Swimmer Fu Yuanhui is among a 64-strong delegation of mainland Olympians visiting Hong Kong. (Parker Zheng/ Chi na Daily)

Four star coaches of goal medalists including Lang Ping who coaches women’s volleyball, table tennis coach Liu Guoliang  and Yu Jie, coach of the weightlifting team, are also among the delegation.

The athletes will showcase their athletic skills in diving, swimming, badminton and table tennis on the second day of their visit. A variety show will be held on the same day, tomorrow. All 5,700 tickets to the events were sold out within hours on Aug 22.

According to Lam, the athletes will also pay visits to a home for elderly, meet children in schools and share their success of sports with local athletes at the Hong Kong Sports Institute.

The athletes and coaches will continue their tour to Macao after leaving Hong Kong on Aug 29.

This is the fourth time for Chinese gold medal winners to visit the city since the Athens Olympic Games in 2004.

China came third in the medal rankings this year, winning 26 gold medals, behind the United States and Great Britain. Team Hong Kong failed to win a medal at the Rio Games.

Olympic stars arrive in SAR
A delegation of mainland Olympians at the Rio Games arrives at the Hong Kong airport on Aug 27, 2016. (Parker Zheng/ Chi na Daily)

Olympic stars arrive in SAR
A delegation of mainland Olympians at the Rio Games arrives at the Hong Kong airport on Aug 27, 2016. (Parker Zheng/ Chi na Daily)

Olympic stars arrive in SAR
A delegation of mainland Olympians at the Rio Games pose for photos at the Hong Kong airport on Aug 27, 2016. (Parker Zheng/ Chi na Daily)

Olympic stars arrive in SAR
Swimmers Fu Yuanhui (left) and Sun Yang are seen in a coach that heads to a hotel in Tsim Sha Tsim on Aug 27, 2016. (Parker Zheng/ Chi na Daily)

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