Olympics 2012

Team SA's plane unveiled

2012-07-18 17:09
Teams SA (Team South Africa - Twitter)

Johannesburg - The aircraft that will carry South Africa's team to the London Olympic Games was unveiled at OR Tambo International in Kempton Park on Wednesday.

The locally branded SA Airways Airbus 340-300 was paraded in front of a large portion of the SA team, who were in a holding camp in Pretoria ahead of their departure on Thursday.

"Go out there to conquer the world and bring back the medals," Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba told the team members.

"We have given this plane the name Siyanqoba - we conquer."

Before the official hand-over by SA Airways, former president Nelson Mandela was honoured by the team and accompanying dignitaries.

After the national anthem was sung by local band Romanz, SAA technical staff member Professor Benghu led all present in a rendition of "Happy Birthday" to Madiba.

"The hard work has been done and looking at this beautiful plane, how can our team fail to be inspired and [not] go on to deliver the goods in London?" said Gideon Sam, president of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

The colourful design painted on the side of the aeroplane was created by 21-year-old Stellenbosch University student Adri le Roux, whose winning design was one of more than 400 entries received.

Team SA's plane (Photo: Aki Anastasiou - Twitter)

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