Great Britain's Olympians and Paralympians honoured in London parade

Great Britain's Olympians and Paralympians honoured in London parade


Great Britain's cyclists joined other sporting heroes as a huge procession made its way through London with Olympic and Paralympic athletes celebrated at the end of a sparkling summer of British sport.

Team GB cyclists won an incredible 12 medals including eight golds. Great Britain’s ParalympicGB cyclists were equally as impressive, winning 22 medals featuring eight golds.

Around 800 athletes travelled on 21 floats, grouped in alphabetical order by their sport.

The stars of the Olympics' Super Saturday - Mo Farah, who won gold in both the 5,000m and 10,000m, heptathlon gold medallist Ennis and long jump champion Greg Rutherford - were in the first three floats, which departed from Mansion House in the City just after 1.30pm following a fanfare of trumpets.

The crowds, dozens deep in places, were a sea of red, white and blue as fans waved Union flags at the passing floats.

Many also held up home-made banners, with some donning patriotic fancy dress for the occasion. But athletes humbly insisted the procession was also there to recognise spectators for their support during the Games.

Ahead of the parade setting off, Hoy said: "This isn't really for us this is for them because they've made the Games.

"They've made the atmosphere, they've supported the athletes, not just in the venues, but through the streets, and the pubs, the public venues, it's been incredible.

"So it's our chance to give them a wave and a thank you for all the support they've given us."

The athletes were also dressed in red, white and blue as they wore their Team GB and ParalympicsGB outfits and waved Union flags as they passed supporters who loudly clapped and cheered.

Hoy, who was on a float with the rest of Team GB's cycling stars including Jason Kenny, Laura Trott and Victoria Pendleton, smiled and held up his two gold medals as fans cheered.

The victory parade travelled along Queen Victoria Street and Cannon Street towards St Paul's Cathedral, and was due to continue along Fleet Street, past Aldwych and into The Strand, before reaching Trafalgar Square.

Sarah Storey, who now has 11 gold medals to her name following the London Paralympics, joined Hoy on the steps of the memorial where they spoke to the crowd.

"The home support, the amazing volunteers, the incredible support behind the support.

"You know without that backroom support, without the coaches, without the whole country behind us, it's not possible to get out onto the field of play and perform at our very best, so all the athletes here in the parade just want to thank every single person in the UK, because without that incredible support we couldn't have done what we've done."

Asked what others can do if they have been inspired by the games, she said: "Dream big, work hard every single day, whether it's at the thing that you want to be greatest at or anything else, you have to be able to put the hours in at the schoolwork just so you've got something to fall back on if your ultimate dream of becoming an athlete for example doesn't work.

"100% in everything that you do, follow your dreams and you won't go too far wrong."

Asked about his plans to retire, Hoy said: "It's very difficult, but if you have to end an Olympic career anywhere then this is the way to do it, in front of this unbelievable crowd with this unbelievable support.

"It's a bit greedy but if I can have a home Olympics and then a home Commonwealth Games then that would be a fantastic end to my career.

He added: "A day like today is very emotional, it takes it out of you. I've taken a whole batteries worth of pictures."