UK

Manchester and London to host Olympic celebrations

Joanna Rowsell Shand, Ed Clancy, Jason Kenny, Steven Burke arrive back from Rio de Janeiro, at Manchester Airport. Image copyright PA
Image caption Gold-winning cyclists Joanna Rowsell Shand, Ed Clancy, Jason Kenny and Steven Burke all train in Manchester

The success of Britain's Olympic and Paralympic stars is to be celebrated with events in Manchester and London, Theresa May has announced.

There will be a parade through the streets of Manchester and another event in the capital in October.

The prime minister said: "It will be a celebration fit for heroes - and rightly so, because that is exactly what they are."

Manchester City Council said the area "couldn't be more thrilled".

Deputy leader Sue Murphy said: "We will be sure to show our athletes the meaning of celebration.

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

"It's fantastic to see the product of years of hard work and training at the centres of excellence in east Manchester."

The decision to stage the parade in the north of England follows calls for it to be held outside the capital to reflect the contribution made by athletes from across the UK.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Thousands of people lined the streets of London for the 2012 victory parade
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Olympians and Paralympians paraded through the streets of London after the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games

Meanwhile London mayor Sadiq Khan said he was delighted there would be a further event in the capital to mark the achievements of Britain's competitors.

"Our athletes have performed heroics in Rio and their exploits have gripped the entire nation," he said.

"My team will continue to work with the government and sports chiefs to help develop plans for wonderful celebrations."

The success of Scotland's Olympians and Paralympians will also be celebrated with a special homecoming event at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh on 28 September.


The northern powerhouse

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jason Kenny and fellow cyclist and fiancee Laura Trott live together near the Manchester Velodrome

Manchester is certainly basking in a golden glow from Rio with a host of the medal winners living and training in the area.

  • 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.
  • Jason Kenny, now one of Britain's most decorated Olympians, hails from Bolton in Greater Manchester while 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.
  • A number of athletes also bringing home medals live over the border in Yorkshire. The Brownlee brothers, diver Jack Laugher and cyclist Ed Clancy are all proud Yorkshiremen.

Mrs May said: "For the past fortnight, the people of the United Kingdom have been filled with pride as we've watched our Olympians take victory in so many sports with power, grace and control.

"In every discipline and at every stage, Team GB have shown the world what we're made of: determination, dignity and true sportsmanship.

"They haven't just made history; by showing just how far talent and hard work can take you, they have inspired the next generation.

"They have also shown the importance of supporting elite sport and that is something this government remains wholly committed to."

Smaller parades are expected to be held for individual athletes in their home towns.

The town council in Stone, Staffordshire, has said it will hold a parade for K1 slalom gold medallist Joe Clarke, 23, who will be hoisted aloft in his kayak on 29 August.

ITV is also planning to switch off all seven of its channels for an hour on 27 August to encourage people to take part in sport as part of the I Am Team GB campaign.

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