The Straits Times
Published on Aug 20, 2012

Australia salutes Olympians despite disappointments


SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia on Monday officially welcomed home its Olympic team with a colourful parade led by a red London bus and featuring and Brazilian dancers, despite the country's worst showing in 20 years.

Thousands lined Sydney's main George Street to wave flags and cheer on the sporting stars as they made their way to the Town Hall.

"It's beautiful," said basketballer Lauren Jackson, who carried Australia's flag at the opening ceremony of the Games and whose team, the Opals, won the bronze medal.

"The support that we have from the Australian community has been unbelievable and to be walking through this is actually quite emotional right now for me." Australia's medal haul was down on expectations, with just seven golds leaving the team with its worst victory tally since 1992.