it was a passport to glory for Leeds’s very own Olympic champions.
And after a thrilling fortnight in Rio the city’s stars received their own heroes’ welcome as they returned back home in style.
The prestigious list of sporting elite touched down at Heathrow Airport yesterday (August 23) before the Yorkshire stars departed on the final leg of their journey back to Leeds Bradford Airport.
And now the celebrations will begin as they are reunited with their friends and family members in Yorkshire. “Bramhope Fisheries is calling!” said triathlete Jonny Brownlee. “It’s fantastic to be home, it has been a long few months away training with the Olympics in mind... and it was long journey home from Rio itself, so to be home is fantastic,” added brother Alistair.
Jack Laugher’s mum, Jackie, told the Yorkshire Evening Post of her pride after her Jack’s record-breaking Olympics and how she is looking forward to seeing him again.
She said: “It’s absolutely smashing to have him back home. As soon as he touched down in the UK on the plane he sent me a message. It’s really nice to have him back in the country and I can’t wait to see him.
“There are no words to describe how proud I am of him and his achievements, his dedication and the hard work he has put in.”
City of Leeds Diving Club member Jack, 21, who lives in Leeds with fellow gold medal diver Chris Mears, made history by winning a gold and silver medal in the discipline.
Triathlon champions and Bramhope brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee – who won a gold and silver medal in the men’s event this year – touched down at Leeds Bradford Airport yesterday.
And Leeds’s Golden Girl Nicola Adams arrived back in the city after famously becoming the first British Olympic boxer in nearly 100 years to defend her flyweight title in Rio last week.
She was one of the first stars to emerge from the gold-nosed British Airways Boeing 747 at Heathrow with “victoRIOus” emblazoned on the side.
Nicola was joined by double gold-medallist Max Whitlock as the rest of the team filed out to cheers and applause.
Team GB’s stunning success at the Games – which saw their biggest medal haul in a century – drew the praise of the Queen who offered her “warmest congratulations”.
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