North Korean Olympic athletes return home to low-key welcome

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) Members of North Korea's Olympic team returned home on Saturday, greeted by a small crowd of family and friends.

Vice Premier Ro Tu Chol and Vice Minister of Sport Kim Jong Su were also at Pyongyang's airport to welcome the team home from Rio. But there was no motorcade and no crowds lining the streets - a common welcome in the past for North Korean athletes returning home after winning overseas competitions.

North Korea won seven medals in Rio: two golds in weightlifting and gymnastics, three silvers in weightlifting, and two bronzes in table tennis and shooting.

That's more medals - but less gold - than North Korea won at the previous Olympics in London. The North took home four golds and two bronzes at the 2012 games.

''I did my best in this competition to bring back victory and confidence for our army and people,'' gymnast Ri Se Gwang, who won a gold medal in Rio in the men's vault, said after returning home.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.