Recognising excellence: Team SA medallists bag more awards

Fikile Mbalula says Nelson Mandela’s legacy lives through all South Africa's medallists.

Team SA arrives home from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Team South Africa's medallists have been awarded excellence awards from Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula following their strong showing at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games.

Members of Team SA touched down on Tuesday morning to a hero's welcome, with thousands of fans showing up at OR Tambo International Airport to show their support.

A moving rendition of "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" was beautifully supported by thousands of fans cheers for their favourite athlete.

The mere mention of Caster Semenya, Chad le Clos or Wayde Van Nikerk drew massive applause from fans in support.

Mbalula mentioned every medallist with pride, saying Nelson Mandela's legacy lives through them.

He also thanked each and every South Africa fan who woke up in the early hours of the morning to watch the athletes compete.

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee president Gideon Sam thanked all South Africans, especially those gathered at OR Tambo, for supporting the country's athletes while competing at the Rio Olympics.

"I know that South Africans like winners, if you're a loser, South Africans will dump you on the spot. So thank you very much for coming out like this South Africa because this is what the athletes would like to see and know that they're supported."