The Swiss athletes who won medals at the recent Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang have been congratulated for their efforts in the Swiss parliament in Bern. It is the first time such a gathering has taken place.
The special reception was thanks to the best medal haul for 30 years. The Swiss Olympic squad exceeded its target of 11 medals, bringing back 15 (five golds, six silvers and four bronze). The Paralympians came home with three golds.
“We were all swept up in it and were nervous with you,” said Ueli Maurer, who holds the rotating vice-presidency this year. He also underlined the social value of sport.
“You athletes help define the success and image of our country,” he said, admitting that the sports pages are the first he turns to in the morning.
For Karin Keller-Sutter, president of the Senate, the Swiss athletes “are not only role models for young people in Switzerland but are among our most important ambassadors abroad”.
Sports Minister Guy Parmelin congratulated them on their commitment, zeal and desire to win.