Emirates flight EK408 has landed safely in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) this afternoon (Wednesday, 24th August). With it was our Malaysian athletes that flew halfway across the world from Brazil, having completed the Rio Olympics 2016.

In a grand gesture, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) arranged for the plane to be escorted by 5 vehicles bearing the “Jalur Gemilang” (Malaysian flag) upon arrival.

MAHB also announced via a tweet about an hour ago that the plane that sent our Malaysian heroes home will be given a symbolic water salute upon landing.

A water salute occurs for ceremonial purposes when a vehicle travels under plumes of water expelled by one or more fire fighting vehicles. It is usually reserved to mark the retirement of a senior pilot, air traffic controller, the first or last flight of an airline to an airport, the first or last flight of a type of aircraft, or for other notable events.

Hours before their arrival, a huge crowd of more than 1,000 people gathered at KLIA’s Kompleks Bunga Raya to welcome the Olympians home. According the The Star, fans had gathered as early as 2 hours before the athletes’ scheduled arrival, eager to catch a glimpse of the Malaysian team.

Also present at Kompleks Bunga Raya to welcome the athletes were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister in the Prime Ministers Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, as well as the athletes’ family members.

As soon as the Olympians (Dato’ Lee Chong Wei, Goh Liu Ying, Chan Peng Soon, Pandelela Rinong, Cheong Jun Hoong, Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, and more) entered the hall, they were greeted by a thunderous roar, beating drums, and chants of “Malaysia Boleh!”. The warm welcome was so touching that some of the athletes were moved to tears by the response.

Rio 2016, which lasted for 16 days, came to a close on 21st August 2016 with a spectacular ceremony at the Maracana Stadium. The Games marked Malaysia’s most impressive performance and largest medal haul at the Olympics in history, with a total of 5 medals (4 silver, 1 bronze) in the bag.

We’ve said this before but we’ll say this again – thank you, #TeamMalaysia. There are no words to describe how immensely proud we are of all of you.

Source: twitter.com/weekasiongmp
Source: twitter.com/weekasiongmp

Selamat pulang ke tanah air 🙂

Sources: Malaysia Airports, The Star, Sumisha Naidu.

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Lainey
Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.