June 19 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 10, 2012
Triumphant athletes from Team GB and ParalympicsGB were greeted by thousands of people at the Our Greatest Team parade.
Crowds 10 deep watched the 21 floats as they journeyed from Mansion House to the Queen Victoria Memorial this afternoon.
The Lord Mayor of London Alderman David Wootton waved the parade off.
Athletes travelled on 21 floats, arranged in alphabetical order by sport.
Those on board included Britain’s greatest ever Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, heptathlete Jessica Ennis, swimmer Ellie Simmonds and men’s T44 100m gold medallist Jonnie Peacock.
Athletes took photographs from the trucks and many of them carried signs thanking spectators, while crowds waved them through central London.
Around 1million people lined the route of the parade, which made its way into The Strand and then to Trafalgar Square. After passing Trafalgar Square the floats travelled through Admiralty Arch into The Mall, travelling down to the Queen Victoria Memorial.
This area was reserved for groups who made an invaluable contribution to the Games and the success of the athletes. These included 14,000 volunteers, members of the blue light services, military personnel, Team GB and ParalympicsGB coaches and support staff, friends and family of the athletes involved and schoolchildren from every London borough.
There was a fly past by the Red Arrows, and the yellow plane which flew the Olympic Flame from Greece to Britain flew past with Thank You written on its undercarriage.
Athletes gathered on steps in front of the memorial while Pet Shop Boys performed, before The Princess Royal and Boris Johnson made speeches.
The Mayor of London thanked the athletes and said: “I would say to all of them this was you achievement. You brought this country together in a way we never expected.
“For the first time in history you caused Tube train passengers to burst into spontaneous conversation about subjects other than their trod upon toes.”
He continued: “You have made everybody very proud. On behalf of all the people of London I say thank you.”
Opera singer Katherine Jenkins then led everyone in a rendition of the national anthem, and The Noisettes closed the parade.
The parade was organised by the Mayor of London in conjunction with the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association.