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SA flag flies high in Olympic village
- Updated: July 30, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Team South Africa’s flag rose proudly in the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro on Friday as the 2016 Games gathered pace before the official opening ceremony on 5 August.
The flag-raising ceremony was conducted in the international zone in the village.
South Africa was one of three countries gathered to witness the raising of their national flags and they were followed by Albania and Moldova.
Deputy Chef de Mission, Ms Jean Kelly then handed over a gift on behalf of Team South Africa to the Athletes’ Village Mayor Janeth Arcain, a two-time basketball Olympian.
The gift consisted of an exquisite mohair blanket from the Eastern Cape region of South Africa and depicted an African sunset.
The teams of South Africa, Albania and Moldova were treated to a traditional and cultural dancing display and messages of welcome.
Said Village Mayor Arcain: ‘Hours of dedication have ensured that your dream has come true. You have arrived.
‘We extend the warmest welcome to teams from all corners of the world, we love sport and you have all of our support.
‘More than 207 delegations from around the world are here and the village is home for you for the next two weeks. Fair play is the most important tool we have.’
The national anthems of all three countries rang out in the village as well as the Olympic anthem.
Picture by Wessel Oosthuizen