'Golden Knights' finally arrive in GB
FN Night Editor
Fanfare fit for a champion knight coming to court from battle would best describe the welcome the four members of the men's 4x400m gold medal relay team received, when they landed on Grand Bahama Monday morning.
Handshakes, hugs and kisses from family members, fans and officials were in abundance as the now dubbed 'Golden Knights' took to the red carpet that was spread out for their arrival.
Disembarking the 9:15 a.m. Bahamasair flight out of New Providence with officers from the BAAAs, including president Mike Sands, the 'Golden Knights' - Michael Mathieu, Demetrius Pinder, Chris Brown and Ramon Miller - sporting their gold medals won in London, surrendered themselves to the people.
A brief ceremony was held at the GB International Airport where Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Dr. Michael Darville welcomed the men, particularly Mathieu and Pinder, who both are from Grand Bahama.
"What a great feeling to have our 'Golden Knights' in Grand Bahama," said Darville, recalling a visit with them in New Providence last week. "I said to them at the time, we need you in Grand Bahama."
Darville also welcomed the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Daniel Johnson, who travelled with the 'Golden Knights' to Grand Bahama for the celebrations.
"I would especially like to welcome our 'Golden Knights,' but particularly the members of the 4x400m relay team who are from Grand Bahama ... Michael Mathieu and Demetrius Pinder," said Darville. "Welcome home, welcome home!"
He noted that Bahamians are a strong, resilient and extraordinary group of people. "And our athletes have proven to us, in this Olympics Game that despite the difficulties we may face as a country and the things that we are experiencing here on Grand Bahama, we are still able to rise and shine at home and abroad.
"This is one of the reasons why I am proud to be the first one to welcome Team Bahamas to Grand Bahama,"?added Darville.
Noting that the entire island is proud of the team, Darville said that a special day of activities is planned to demonstrate the island's love and appreciation.
"I hope that you will enjoy your day here in Grand Bahama and we look forward to seeing you over and over and over again,"?he said.
Demetrius' parents, grandmother, aunts and siblings were at the airport to greet him, their excitement explosive as his head stuck out of the aircraft.
Gary and Enamae?Pinder, his parents, traveled to London for the Games; however, they left before the relay due to scheduling mix up.
"We were going through US customs when she got the text that they had won the gold medal in the relay," said the senior Pinder. "She did all kind of screaming and hollering in a place where we were supposed to be quiet."
He recalled that their schedule got mixed up because the first set of dates announced for the Olympics were July 27- August 9. "So I made the reservations for August 10 to return. We wanted to change it, but it was too expensive. So we had to come without watching the relay.
"But the feeling was unexplainable," he remembered. "We were nervous about the race, but we knew we were going to get a medal. We didn't know which one, but we were certain we were going to get one ... so as soon as we got the text that was it."
Pinder said that knowing they got the gold medal was a great feeling, even though he missed the actual relay.
He noted that he is proud of the entire team, but of course, his pride is busting over for his son.
"I've been proud of him since day one," added the beaming father, who recalled taking Demetrius on runs back when he was a little boy.
"There was this little hill up in Chesapeake where I took him early in the mornings and he would run up and down that hill," said Pinder, noting, "hard work really pays off."
Before climbing on the flatbed for the motorcade, Demetrius spoke with the media and said that he was waiting to get Grand Bahama.
"But they kept us in Nassau ... now I am finally here and looking forward to the celebrations."
Asked about his most memorable moment at the Olympics, Demetrius said, "it was when we got together on the track to give God thanks for winning the gold medal."
Michael too was glad to be home and was ready to see what was planned for the 'Golden Knights.'
Michael's most memorable moment was, "when I realized we won the gold medal."
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