London Olympics: After wrestlers, Mary Kom gets frenzied reception
New Delhi: M.C. Mary Kom, the first Indian woman boxer to win an Olympic medal, was Tuesday morning accorded a rousing reception on arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here, close on the heels of a warm welcome for wrestling stars Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt.
Mary Kom flew in from London with the entire boxing contingent, including the men`s team which could not win a single medal at the Summer Games.
"It is very special to win an Olympic medal. The road to it was a tough one. I am overwhelmed with the support that I have got. I am excited and scared as well with the huge amount of people here. Everyone knows me now. I might not look like an Indian but I surely feel like one," an emotional Mary Kom told reporters about her bronze winning feat in the London Olympics.
The 29-year-old Manipuri was accompanied by her husband Onler Kom and mother Akham Kom.
Sushil and Yogeshwar returned home late Monday night to a hero`s welcome as hordes of supporters, including young grapplers from nearby akhadas, turned up at the airport.
As soon as the duo walked out of the arrival lounge, celebrations broke out with drums beating and fireworks lighting up the sky.
Sushil and Yogeshwar were surprised to see their life-size cut-outs, and within moments they were carried on the shoulders of their supporters.
With garlands around their neck, Sushil and Yogeshwar were dazed with the grand reception.
Shouts of "Sushil, Yogeshwar ki jay" reverberated in the air. The duo were taken on a well-decorated open truck to the Palam temple.
Even before the flight from London landed, a huge crowd had gathered at the arrival terminus, reminiscent of scenes four years ago when Sushil arrived from Beijing with a bronze medal.
But this time, exploits of Sushil and Yogeshwar in London called for special celebrations.
Sushil, who won the silver, became India`s only individual back-to-back Olympic medallist while his friend of 15 years, Yogeshwar, bagged a bronze.
It seemed as if the whole of Chattarsal and Baprola village, from where Sushil hails, was at the international airport to celebrate Indian wrestling`s success.
Sushil`s wife Savi, his father-in-law Satpal Singh, former Asian Games gold medallist, his coach Yashvir Singh, national coach Vinod Kumar and Raj Singh, general secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), also arrived with the champion duo.