Trafalgar Square event celebrates Rio 2016 athletes

Published
media captionLondon celebrates Rio 2016 athletes: event highlights

Britain's Olympic and Paralympic stars have been honoured with a celebration in London's Trafalgar Square.

It follows the victory parade in Manchester on Monday when thousands of supporters lined the streets to cheer on the victorious athletes.

Team GB won 67 medals in Rio, two more than they gained at London 2012, while the Paralympians won 147 medals - 27 more than four years ago.

Medallists also attended a reception at Buckingham Palace.

image copyrightPA
image captionGymnast Max Whitlock performed acrobatics for the crowd on the Trafalgar Square stage
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionBoxer Nicola Adams took photos of the crowds from the stage
image captionAbout 6,000 people are thought to have attended the event
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionSprinter Asha Philip won a bronze as part of the Women's 4x100m relay team

About 6,000 people were expected at the "Heroes Return" event in central London which began at 13:00 BST.

Several of the athletes addressed the crowd from the stage, paying tribute to the support they had received.

Paralympian Richard Whitehead MBE said the event was "amazing" and called London "a special place for sport".

Swimmer Adam Peaty, who won Team GB's first gold medal and broke his own world record at Rio, said seeing the number of spectators in Trafalgar Square meant "so much" to him.

image copyrightPA
image captionTeam GB athletes joined in with a Mexican wave on the stage
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMany Union Jacks were flown beneath Nelson's Column
image copyrightPA
image captionDiver Tom Daley had been unable to attend Monday's event in Manchester

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the athletes had "inspired millions of people".

"I feel privileged and humbled to be here as a fan," he said.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionGuardsmen entertained the crowd before the athletes arrived
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionConfetti was released to mark the end of the celebrations
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionWomen's hockey player Maddie Hinch led a group selfie
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMany spectators held up messages of support for the athletes
image captionAfter appearing at Trafalgar Square, Nicola Adams later met the Queen at Buckingham Palace

The event ended with the athletes dancing on stage during a performance by The Vamps, after which confetti was released in the square.

Various members of the Royal Family - including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry - joined the Queen to meet medallists at the Buckingham Palace reception.

More on this story