FIJI'S golden boy Iliesa Delana marked another chapter in his life when he was accorded a guard of honour in front of the Vodafone Arena in Suva yesterday.
This ceremonial practice is traditionally accorded to honour dignitaries.
He was also accorded a full traditional welcome ceremony by the military and drank the first bilo of yaqona, even before President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
Thousands of people braved the drizzle outside the arena to witness the ceremony performed by soldiers of the 3rd Fiji Infantry Regiment (3FIR).
It was also the first time, Fiji witnessed a physically-challenged athletics champion inspect a 50-men Guard of Honour to mark his historical win.
Members of the Diplomatic Corps, ministers, head of departments, business representatives, students and families stood in awe as they welcomed Delana as he made his way in to the jam-packed Vodafone Arena.
People gathered around to congratulate Delana while he smiled and waved happily to others.
Many thanked Delana for his historic gold medal win and for inspiring and motivating the people of Fiji to rise to the occasion to build a better Fiji.