SA flag flies proudly at 2012 Olympic village
South Africa’s national flag proudly took its place among the 204 competing teams at Monday’s official flag-raising ceremony at the Olympic Village in London.
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, SASCOC CEO Tubby Reddy and Team South Africa’s Chef de Mission, Patience Shikwambana were at the forefront as the team were welcomed in a dazzling display by a cast of 70 performers from the British National Youth Theatre.
To the tune of hit songs Bicycle, We are the Champions and Don’t Stop me Now from top British rock band Queen the team were entertained in a fun ceremony hosted by the “queen of ceremonies”.
Minister Mbalula and Chef Shikwambana were then welcomed by the village mayor Charles Allen. “All the years of training and early mornings culminate now and your time has come,” he told the assembled teams.
“Teams have come from all four corners of the world and we extend you a warm British welcome and we’re very excited to have you here.
“We are here for you and you are the true champions.”
Minister Mbalula and Shikwambana then exchanged gifts with the Village Mayor, the South African gift being a metallic statue of an African elephant.
Up to 50 welcoming/flag raising ceremonies are conducted daily before the Games begin officially this Friday.
South Africa were the fourth team to see their flag raised during their ceremony. Before them were Albania and the small Pacific islands of Nauru and Kiribati.