25,000 fans welcome Netherlands' Olympic team
Dutch Olympic athletes returning home Monday were cheered by 25,000 fans at the Amsterdam stadium.26 August 2008
AMSTERDAM -- Dutch Olympic athletes returned home Monday and were cheered by 25,000 fans at the Amsterdam stadium which hosted the 1928 Games.
Led by medal winners, team members walked or danced along an orange-coloured catwalk to a stage set up in the Olympic Stadium before being reunited with family and friends.
The Netherlands ended 12th on the Beijing medals table with seven golds, five silvers and four bronzes.
"This is great. There are so many people here," said Marianne Vos, who won gold at the cycle track in the women's points race. "We have only just flown home, but you would not want to miss this."
Hockey gold medallist Minke Smabers told the crowd that her boyfriend Tjerk Smeets, a catcher with the Dutch baseball team, proposed to her in Beijing at the closing ceremony.
"He dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. I said 'yes' straight away," Smabers said.
The medal winners are due to meet Queen Beatrix at her palace in The Hague on Wednesday before being given an official reception by the government in the centuries-old Knights Hall at the Dutch parliament.
[AP / Expatica]