Manchester and London are set to stage homecoming parades for Team GB’s triumphant Olympic and Paralympic stars in the coming weeks.
Dates for the events have now been confirmed for Manchester on 17 October and London the following day.
Sports minister Tracey Crouch said: “I know that Manchester - a city with a rich sporting history - and London - with its strong links with the Olympic and Paralympic Games - will host brilliant celebrations that will give the British public a chance to say thank you to our amazing athlete heroes.”
According to the Press Association, Team GB’s chef de mission Mark England said: “This will be a very proud moment for all Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes and rich reward for such fantastic efforts at the recent Games in Rio.”
Britain confirmed its place as a sporting powerhouse by coming second in both the Olympic and Paralympic medal tables.
Olympic cycling’s golden couple Jason Kenny and Laura Trott, runner Mo Farah, and swimmer Adam Peaty, plus Paralympic champions Dame Sarah Storey, Kadeena Cox, Jonnie Peacock, Lee Pearson and Will Bayley are among the sporting heroes from Rio 2016.
Britain’s Olympic athletes won 27 golds from 15 sports, and 67 medals in total, smashing UK Sport’s pre-Games target of at least 48 medals, meaning Rio was the nation’s most successful “away” Games.
ParalympicsGB won 64 golds, the most by a British team since 1988, and a total of 147 medals.
Chef de mission Penny Briscoe said the team delivered “an amazing, awe-inspiring performance”, from “the most competitive team at the most competitive Games”.
She said: “We know those performances have excited and energised the public back home and so it is right and fitting that in both Manchester and London the athletes will receive a welcome from those cities and the public can see some of their heroes back on home soil.
“We believe that the performances of our athletes help to inspire a better world for disabled people.”
Manchester City Council deputy leader Sue Murphy said the city had been a “medal factory” turning out golds from the National Cycling Centre and Velodrome – where Jason Kenny and Laura Trott trained – as well as being the home of British British Taekwondo.
She said: “We look forward to welcoming people from all over the country for a spectacular celebration of the achievements of our Olympic and Paralympic heroes and to share in an unforgettable day. Maybe seeing the stars of Rio on our streets will inspire spectators to follow their own sporting dreams and become the medallists of the future.”
The city is no stranger to huge sporting parades, with both Manchester City and Manchester United staging multiple events to celebrate their footballing successes.
Most recently, a parade for 2014 Premier League Champions Manchester City took place along a one-mile route through the centre of the city, starting at the Town Hall, along Deansgate and finishing at Exchange Square.
The decision to stage the main parade in Manchester follows calls for it to be held outside the capital to reflect the contribution made by athletes from across the UK.
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