Rio 2016: Manchester parade for Olympic and Paralympic starrings – BBC News

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

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

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

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

London will have its own festivity 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 starrings Bianca Walkden and Jade Jones pose with Lutalo Muhammad

Team GB defined an Olympic record in Rio 2016by 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 Fan waited in the rain for the Olympic and Paralympic starrings
Image copyright Reuters Image caption More than 150,000 people braved wet climate to line the procession road
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 all regions of 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 way 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 road of the parade

Sports superstars 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 Olympian 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 mill, 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 marriage to their post Rio galas

Many of Team GB’s heroes and the Paralympic superstars have lived and developed around Greater Manchester.

The velodrome train centre for Team GB’s way 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 absentfrom 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 caption Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey won her record-breaking 14 th gold medal in Rio

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