Party time! Parade to celebrate Yorkshire athletes’ Rio success

RIO 2016: Leeds's own Alistair and Jonny Brownlee with their gold and silver medals for the Men's Triathlon. PIC: PA
RIO 2016: Leeds's own Alistair and Jonny Brownlee with their gold and silver medals for the Men's Triathlon. PIC: PA

YORKSHIRE’S Olympic and Paralympic stars are set to receive a heroes welcome at a special homecoming parade in Leeds later this month.

Thousands of people are set to line the streets of Leeds city centre from late afternoon on Wednesday September 28 to cheer on the athletes travelling in open-top buses.

Leeds triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee – who claimed gold and silver medals respectively in Rio – have already confirmed they will be at the parade, which is being organised in partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire.

Other Yorkshire Olympians confirmed for the parade are rower Paul Bennett and triathlete Vicky Holland.

Team GB enjoyed a sensational Olympics in Rio, with Yorkshire contributing 14 medals – five Gold, five silver and four bronze – out of an overall medal total of 67.

Leeds boxer Nicola Adams rounded off Yorkshire’s impressive medal count with a history-making gold in the women’s flyweight final.

Diver Jack Laugher, rower Andrew Triggs Hodge and cyclist Ed Clancy, also brought gold medals back to Yorkshire.

Double Olympic Gold medallist Alistair Brownlee, said: “To be greeted on your home turf by fans will be a real high after Rio.

“We can’t wait to bring home our medals to Yorkshire and to thank everyone for their overwhelming support.”

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity, said: “It will be a privilege and a pleasure to welcome our heroes home.

“This is a terrific opportunity for the county to congratulate Yorkshire’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes after a hugely successful performance in Rio this summer.

“Yorkshire knows how to throw a party and this is certainly one not to be missed.

“Plans are in advanced stages at the moment and we are working closely with Leeds City Council and partners.

“We have already had confirmation from over half of Yorkshire’s medal winners with some big names to reveal in the coming weeks.

“Yorkshire businesses are keen to support this as well and open top buses will take athletes, their coaches and their families on a parade through the city – a route will be announced soon.

“As we’ve already seen for the Leeds Triathlon, the Grand Départ and the Tour de Yorkshire, we’re expecting huge crowds to come out in support of what will be a historic day.”

Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake, said: “Yorkshire is immensely proud of all its Olympic and Paralympic athletes and it is fantastic news that we will have the opportunity to congratulate them on their outstanding achievements as part of a special home coming parade to be held in Leeds on Wednesday September 28.

“The previous Leeds Olympic and Paralympic homecoming event which we held after London 2012 was a day which will live long in the memory, and we are excited as a city to welcome back athletes from across Yorkshire later this month.”

Lord Mayor of Leeds Coun Gerry Harper, said: “We are extremely honoured to have the chance to host a Yorkshire homecoming parade for our Olympic and Paralympic athletes in recognition of their extraordinary performances in Rio.

“The support that our local athletes receive from the Yorkshire public is simply unbelievable, and they can be guaranteed of a very special welcome home party on the 28th.”

More details about timings for the homecoming event and athletes confirmed to attend will be announced shortly

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