On Monday, July 26, Panipak Wongpattanakit, Thailand’s gold medalist for Taekwondo, arrived at the Phuket International Airport and was greeted by fans. She has received US $581,070.00 for winning the first gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics women’s taekwondo (49kg. category) on July 24.
Bangkok Times reported, 23-year-old Panipak was down one point against her opponent, Adriana Cerezo Iglesias from Spain, when she did a nine-second miracle with her last two shots that gave her two extra points and an 11-10 win.
This has been the second time Panipak represented Thailand in the Olympics. In 2016, she won a bronze medal in the Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro.
How she was greeted at the airport
The Thailand Taekwondo team arrived at Phuket International Airport and was greeted with crowds of fans and officials who were present to extend their congratulations.
Here is a video posted by The Nation Thailand on Facebook Watch: (click on the link below the photo)
Here is another version on YouTube:
According to Bangkok Post, amongst the crowd of people, her father, the Phuket governor Narong Wunsiew and the Taekwondo Association of Thailand President Pimol Srivikorn were there to congratulate her and the team.
In a very emotional moment, the gold medalist knelt and presented the gold medal to her father who was among the others waiting for her arrival. She donned the gold medal around his neck and he proudly raised a fist in the air, which led to a loud cheer and clap from the crowd.
He later returned the medal and donned it around the champion’s neck.
Panipak Wongpattanakit also paid respect to her coach, her team, and the Taekwondo Association of Thailand president.
Happy and Proud of her experience
In her hotel room, Panipak posted a video of herself on her YouTube channel, PaNISPak, and showed her subscribers a close-up view of her gold medal, amongst other things.
She also proudly presented the Olympic victory bouquet and the Olympic mascot Miraitowa plush toy, which were given to each medalist at the event.
The bouquet includes eustomas and Solomon’s seals from Fukushima, sunflowers from Miyagi, gentians from Iwate, and aspidistras from Tokyo, which were chosen to represent disaster-affected prefectures in Japan.
The flowers are bound with the Olympic mascot in an outfit that represents the medal you have won, e.g., gold for the gold medallist.
Panipak mentioned to The Nation Thailand that she would like to represent Thailand again in the next Olympics in 2024, which will be held in Paris.
After her victory on Saturday, she received an award of US $576,492.00 (19 million Thai baht).
Also included were US $364,084.00 (12 million Thai baht) from the National Sports Development Fund and US $212,382.00 (7 million Thai baht) from private agencies.
Congratulations to Panipak and the Thailand taekwondo team! Good job!!