German President Joachim Gauck has greeted athletes from the country’s Olympic team upon their arrival back in Munich following the Sochi Games. More than 100 athletes were on the specially chartered flight.
President Gauck shook the hand of each German athlete as they disembarked from the Lufthansa Airbus at Munich's international airport on Monday. The 110 athletes who returned on the flight were also welcomed home by Munich Mayor Christian Ude.
The first to be greeted was double gold medallist in the luge, Felix Loch, who was Germany's flag bearer at Sunday's closing ceremony in Sochi. Several hundred fans had also gathered at the airport to welcome home the German athletes, despite their somewhat disappointing medal haul over the past fortnight.
While Germany had finished second in the medals standings in Vancouver four years ago, at the Sochi Games, its 153 athletes slipped to sixth, with eight gold, six silver and five bronze medals. Their mood was also dampened by biathete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle's postive test for doping, which led to her disqualification from the Games.
pfd/dr (dpa, SID)