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There was laughter, there was crying and reunion, there were applause, there were laudatory speeches, and there was generally a good mood.
In Experimentarium in Hellerup, the Danish Olympic athletes were welcomed home from Tokyo on Monday evening and paid tribute by friends, families, as well as Crown Prince Frederik and Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
At the top of the building, where Denmark’s Radio has had a studio and a big screen during the Games in Tokyo, cyclists, handball players, rowers and runners flocked together. For someone it was the first time in several weeks they saw their loved ones.
Crown Prince Frederik mingled among the athletes. Some of them he had already talked to on the phone when they won medals in Tokyo, while others had the opportunity to tell their story from the Olympics.
“It has been a great pleasure to be able to call up some of you right after you have realized that you have got the top spot on the podium,” Crown Prince Frederik said in his speech to the gold winners.
The Tokyo Olympics have been heavily marked by the corona pandemic, which has meant that the athletes have been isolated in the Olympic city.
There have been no spectators in the stands, and therefore families and friends have not had the opportunity to support and stand ready with a hug after the end of the competition.
It took a lot of space at, among others, kayaker Emma Aastrand Jørgensen, who won two of Denmark’s total of 11 medals. She was very touched after her second bronze medal and told that she could well use a hug from the family.
Crown Prince Frederik did not fail to mention the subject either.
“You have been very alone, and perhaps that is why it has become one of the most emotional Olympic Games,” said Crown Prince Frederik, who revealed that he too had the emotions on his clothes during the games.
Viktor Axelsen had the same thing after his badminton gold medal, Anne-Marie Rindom had it both before and after his final sailing, and with the four cyclists who ran the 4000 meter team pursuit race, the waves went high on the way to the silver medals.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (S) was also present and dished up a stack of words of praise to the returning athletes.
“Thank you for an absolutely formidable effort, everyone.«
“You are the image of dedication, fighting spirit and unity. You inspire us all and you are a huge inspiration to children and young people across the country. You are helping to ignite the dream of everyone in the sports associations who dream of doing the same as you,” the prime minister said.
The event in the Experimentarium was closed by Carpark North, which has composed an Olympic song that has been featured throughout Dr’s coverage of the games.
Now the athletes can go home and start all over again. In three years there will be the Olympics in Paris.