China's central authorities on Sunday congratulated the Chinese athletes on their "achievement of a major historic breakthrough" and "significant contributions" to the Beijing Olympic Games.
"The motherland and people feel proud of you. We extend warm congratulations and heartfelt compliments to you, who have won immense glory for your country and people," read a congratulatory message jointly sent by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council, China's cabinet.
By scoring the best ever result at the Olympic Games with 51 gold, 21 silver and 28 bronze medals, the Chinese sports delegation has "achieved a major historic breakthrough," "written a new chapter of China's sports development," and "made significant contributions to the hosting of a high-standard and unique Olympic Games in Beijing," the message noted.
The Chinese sports delegation, which has topped the gold medal table at these Games, has demonstrated sportsmanship and the Olympic spirit both in and out of the competition grounds, revealing to the world the Chinese nation's unyielding spirit, solidarity and pursuit of peace and progress, said the message.
The Chinese athletes also took the opportunity of these Games to have exchanges with their counterparts from other parts of the world, which has helped promote mutual understanding and friendship among people all over the world, it added.
"With your concrete action, you have greatly inspired the patriotic passion and hard-working spirit of people of all ethnic groups in the country, encouraged them to actively push forward reform and opening-up and the socialist modernization drive, and made an outstanding contribution to the International Olympic Movement," it said.
"We hope you will earnestly sum up your experience and refrain from complacency, and make persistent efforts to win even greater honor for the motherland and people. We hope to see you make new contributions to China's sports development and the promotion of the Olympic spirit and the International Olympic Movement," it concluded.
The Chinese athletes won 32 golds, 17 silvers and 14 bronzes at the previous Olympic Games in Athens 2004, trailing only behind the United States on the gold tally.