When the BBC first met Vijender, 22, the young boxer told how he was struggling for recognition in cricket-mad India.
But he returned to a rapturous welcome from thousands of his countrymen after winning a bronze medal, one of just three medals won by the Indian team.
Vijender - before the Olympics
Described by one Indian newspaper as "a new hero of Indian sports", Vijender was showered with rose petals and carried aloft by supporters from his home town, Bhiwani, who had descended on Delhi's international airport.
Earlier, taxi drivers in Bhiwani (Vijender's father is one of them) handed out sweets in celebration of their native son's achievement.
Vijender has already met President Pratibha Patil, and is reportedly being lined up for a sponsorship deal with Adidas India.
Indian sports chiefs, who usually struggle to explain a lack of success, predict a rosy future.
"Normally even one medal sparks a lot of enthusiasm," said Suresh Kalmadi, president of the Indian Olympic Association.
Judoka Bernadett made it to Beijing after overcoming two serious injuries - and after dealing with the death of her mother.
"The Beijing Olympics were a fantastic experience for me," she told the BBC. "The organisation was excellent. The accommodation, food, training possibilities, the competition space, the entertainment for the athletes...Everything worked like clockwork."
But she was less happy about her own performance.
Bernadett battled against the effects of injury
"The draw went very well for me. On paper, I should have been able to beat my opponents..." She lost her first match to an Australian girl - of Hungarian origin. In the second match she beat a Tunisian. But then she lost to a French girl in the third. And that was it.
She came seventh overall, far from the medals she had dreamt of.
Back in Hungary now, she takes it all philosophically. "I learnt a great deal during the games, from other competitors, techniques which I have already begun to build into my routine," she said.
And the Italian girl who won gold was a rival whom Bernadett actually beat some months ago, in Rome. So she is optimistic about the future. Very optimistic. Especially about the London Olympics in 2012.
Bernadett has already started a one-month break from judo, or at least from the fierce training schedule of the past months. And she has her studies to think of, the autumn term at ELTE, Budapest University, where she is studying physical education, starts in mid-September.
But soon she will be back on the judo mat, to start to apply the hard lessons of Beijing. The European Championships take place in Zagreb in November and in December there is the possibility of competing in Japan - the homeland of her sport.
Cambodian marathon runner Hem Bunting was so poor, he lived in the crumbling stadium where he was training for the Olympics - and was struggling even to buy running shoes.
His plight moved many readers of the website, one of whom - Ellis Wyatt - contacted the runner and dispatched some brand new trainers to the Olympic Village in time for Hem's event.
Hem has struggled for funding
Hem - who was the flag-bearer for the Cambodian team - ran a creditable 2h33:32, finishing in 72nd place, some 27 minutes behind the winner, Samuel Kamau Wansiru of Kenya.
"I have felt very comfortable here and the Chinese people have been very helpful and friendly," he told the BBC. "This is the first time for me to compete in such a big event and I feel very fortunate."
"My situation in Cambodia is not good as you know. I don't know if things will improve but I will lobby those in charge to make conditions better for sportsmen and women.
"Before the Beijing, the Olympics was not very well known in Cambodia. But the opening ceremony here was widely watched and I think more people will have awareness."
"As for the future, I will try and train more and more and maybe I will be lucky and qualify for the next Olympics in London."
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