[intro]Bloemfontein has welcomed home track sensation Wayde van Niekerk, who obliterated superstar Michael Johnson’s long standing 400m record at last month’s Rio Olympics. Van Niekerk was hosted by the office of the Premier and by his alma mater, the University of the Free State. He also visited Grey College, where he had schooled. Every venue was packed with hundreds of friends, fans and members of the community beaming with pride. Frikkie Kapp and Linda Fekisi share these moments in a photo story.[/intro]
The welcoming organised by the Premier’s office included a tour around the city on 9 September. Van Niekerk travelled through the city of roses in an open bus. Frikkie Kapp, captured moments from two locations: Hoffman Square and Grey College.
Meeting fans and signing autographs at Hoffman Square
Visiting Grey: his roots
The Wayde fever continued in Bloemfontein right up until Thursday, 15 September, when he was received by his alma mater, the University of the Free State.
Expressing gratitude to the Kovsie community
Students and members of the UFS community relived his record breaking historic moment with the athlete last week on the Bloemfontein campus by watching a video of his race. As his race drew to an end, the Callie Human rumbled with cheers while he walked to the podium. Van Niekerk expressed his gratitude for the support he received. “I would love to thank Kovsies as a whole. I really cherish this place. The love and the warmth that come with it have contributed to the journey,” he said. “You have helped me along and I thank you for that.”