TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's victorious Olympic badminton team made its triumphant return to the country from the Tokyo Games Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 4) and was greeted with cheers by airport ground staff.
Coaches and players from the badminton team rode China Airlines Flight CI101 back from Tokyo. Due to the team's historic achievements at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Taiwanese government dispatched four Mirage 2000 fighter jets from Hsinchu Air Base to meet the aircraft and escort it home.
To celebrate the team's historic achievements, the fighter jets fired off flares as they neared the plane. Lee Yang (李洋), a member of the men's gold-medal-winning badminton duo, posted photos on his Instagram of team members eagerly taking photos of the Mirage 2000 fighters with their smartphones, writing "Really super cool!"
Aboard the flight were nine players and coaches, one training partner, and two headquarters staff members. In addition to Lee, other athletes onboard included doubles teammate Wang Chi-lin (王齊麟), singles silver medalist Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎), and men's singles competitors Chou Tien-chen (周天成) and Wang Tzu-wei (王子維).
The flight arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 5:05 p.m., and when the team exited the plane, they were met by a chorus of cheers by members of the Sports Administration and Taiwan's Olympic committee, as well as EVA Air and China Airlines ground crews.
Mirage 2000 fighter jet firing off flares. (Military News Agency photo)
Photo of Mirage 2000 taken by Tai. (Instagram.com, tai_tzuying photo)
Photo of cabin, Mirage 2000 fighters taken by Lee. (Instagram, leeyang0812 jphotos)
Lee Yang (left), coach Chen Hung-ling (center), and Wang Chi-lin (right) mobbed by media. (CNA photo)
Video shows fighter jets firing off flares to celebrate return of badminton team: