Hundreds welcome Pandelela home
Posted on August 21, 2012, Tuesday
KUCHING: Hundreds of fans were at the Kuching International Airport today to welcome home Olympic bronze medalist Pandelela Rinong Pamg, Traisy Vivien Tukiet and Bryan Nickson Lomas.
They included Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom and Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong.
Pandelela and fellow Sarawakian divers Bryan Nickson and Traisy Vivien were greeted with sape music, a traditional dance and garlands upon their arrival at Gate 8.
There was a frenzied clicking of cameras and camera phones as every moment of their arrival was busily documented by not just media personnel but also the public.
Security was tight as the trio made their way out of the arrival hall with state dignitaries to the VIP waiting lounge for a brief press conference.
The divers were bombarded with questions about their post-Olympics feelings and future plans, with the main focus on the cheerful bronze medallist who answered questions with ease.
Pandelela then proceeded to autograph posters provided by The Borneo Post for those present before being ushered outside to meet the public, who had been waiting for her homecoming since 11am.
Thunderous cheers from family members, friends and fans were heard when they finally got to see Pandelela.
Banners and posters declaring “Pandelela … Bidayuh Boleh” and “Sarawak Loves Pandelela” were seen everywhere as everyone clamoured forward to take her photo.
A motorcade, organised by Regas Premium Auto, brought Pandelela, Bryan and Traisy for a formal welcoming ceremony at the Astana.
As Pandelela left the airport in an open-top Mini Cooper escorted by police outriders and members of the Borneo Island Big Bikers, shouts and cheers of pride continued to be heard at the VIP car park area as fans and well-wishers rushed to take final shots of the teenager who has succeeded in captivating Sarawakian hearts.