Manchester

Rio 2016: Manchester parade for Olympic and Paralympic stars

all the athletes on stage Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Manchester was chosen for the first parade to reflect the contribution made by athletes from across the UK

Great Britain's Olympic and Paralympic stars have paraded through Manchester to celebrate their record-breaking performances at Rio 2016.

More than 150,000 people braved the rain to line the parade route sporting gold hats and waving flags.

The procession started at the Museum of Science and Industry and ended in Albert Square where 400 athletes gathered on stage.

London will have its own celebration on Tuesday in Trafalgar Square.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jessica Ennis-Hill was among the athletes who attended the event in Manchester
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Taekwondo stars Bianca Walkden and Jade Jones pose with Lutalo Muhammad

Team GB set an Olympic record in Rio 2016 by winning 67 medals - two more than they managed at London 2012.

The Paralympians also beat their previous performance with 147 medals - 27 more than four years ago.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Fans waited in the rain for the Olympic and Paralympic stars
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption More than 150,000 people braved wet weather to line the parade route
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The parade was broadcast on big screens in the city centre
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Kaiser Chiefs performed live to the crowds in Albert Square

Manchester was chosen for the first parade to reflect the contribution made by athletes from across the UK, the government said.

The city has become the hub for Team GB and Paralympics GB's all-conquering cyclists and para-cyclists since the opening of Britain's first indoor Olympic cycling track in 1994.

Singer Rebecca Ferguson and Kaiser Chiefs performed live to the crowds in Albert Square, where the parade ended.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Athletes donned plastic ponchos to protect them against wet weather
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption More than 150,000 people lined the route of the parade

Sports stars including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Dame Sarah Storey, Max Whitlock, Jade Jones and Nicola Adams were among the athletes who attended.

Ennis-Hill, who announced her retirement from athletics last week, said even though she was "a bit wet" it was "a really nice occasion to come here and be on the float, celebrating Rio, and also saying goodbye to everyone".

Team GB's Women's Hockey Team were also there although goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, who saved all four penalties in the shootout in the final against the Netherlands, nearly missed the parade.

Her flight from the Netherlands, where she now plays, was cancelled but luckily three hours later she was on the way.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The parade was the official homecoming for the Olympians and Paralympians

Paralympians were also out in force including Jonnie Peacock, Jody Cundy, Ellie Robinson, Ellie Simmonds and Richard Whitehead.

Sue Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: "We couldn't be more thrilled to host the national parade."

She added: "The city has been a medal factory, pumping out golds as the home of British Cycling and British Taekwondo."


Made in Manchester

Image copyright Martin Gardner/Hilltop Country House
Image caption Cyclists Jason Kenny and Laura Trott added a wedding to their post Rio celebrations

Many of Team GB's heroes and the Paralympic stars have lived and trained around Greater Manchester.

  • The velodrome training centre for Team GB's track cycling athletes, who have brought home 11 Olympic medals, is based in the city with many of the team living nearby - including Sir Bradley Wiggins who will be absent from both celebrations
  • Jason Kenny, now one of Britain's most decorated Olympians, hails from Bolton in Greater Manchester. He married fellow gold-winning cyclist Laura Trott recently
  • Their team-mate - team pursuit gold medallist Steve Burke - comes from nearby Colne in Lancashire
  • Taekwondo star Jade Jones, originally from Flint in north Wales, now lives and trains in Manchester
  • Rower Matt Langridge, who won gold in Rio with the men's eight, was born in Crewe and grew up in Northwich, Cheshire
  • Britain's most successful Paralympian - the swimmer turned cyclist - Dame Sarah Storey was born in Eccles and is based in Disley, Cheshire
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey won her record-breaking 14th gold medal in Rio

BBC One will broadcast a 30 minute highlights show from 20:30

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