Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Leeds tonight to welcome home in style their amazing Yorkshire Olympic and Paralympic Rio Heroes.
Set in a sea of colour, music and entertainment, Yorkshire’s athletes received a reception never to be forgotten as they toured the city centre on open top buses with coaches, supporters and family members. Accompanying the buses included a DJ and dancers from the West Indian Carnival, the Band of the King’s Division, West Yorkshire Police Band and the Handmade Samba Band, which helped ensure that the parade had a real Rio flavour.
Present at the parade included:
- Triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee who earned gold and silver medals respectively.
- World, European and Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft MBE who won three golds in Rio.
- Diver and gold medallist, Jack Laugher.
- Paralympic Cycling Pilot double gold medallist, Adam Duggleby.
- Paralympic swimmer, Jonathan Booth.
- Bronze medal gymnast, Nile Wilson.
- Rowing silver medallist, Zoe Lee.
- Vicky Holland who won bronze in the triathlon.
- Rowers Andy Triggs Hodge, Tom Ransley and Paul Bennett who all claimed gold.
- Double Paralympic gold medallist, Kadeena Cox
- Paralympic gold and silver medal cyclist David Stone MBE
Organised in partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire, the main event sponsor of the parade was Clipper Logistics with partner support from Slingsby Gin, Radio Aire, Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Tea and Vale of Mowbray.
Afterwards, all of the athletes received an invite to a special civic reception held at Leeds Civic Hall.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:
“We have been extremely fortunate to host some truly memorable occasions in Leeds, but to see so many people of all ages line the streets of the city centre to welcome home our Yorkshire Olympic and Paralympic Heroes tonight took the breath away!
“It really was fantastic to see the county’s athletes get the recognition they so fully deserve for their phenomenal success in Rio. I would like to thank all of them for finding the time in their extremely demanding and hectic schedules to attend the parade and of course the Yorkshire public, who once again proved why their support is amongst the very best in the world.”
Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Sir Gary Verity said:
“Wow what a welcome for our Yorkshire Rio Heroes. Tens of thousands of people lined the route around the city centre to cheer on our athletes and it really has been an event to go down in history. Yorkshire you really know how to party.”
Double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee said:
“We can’t believe how many people are here! It’s great being in our home city and we’re very proud to be from Leeds and Yorkshire. What a welcome home!”
Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Gerry Harper said:
“To be given the chance as a city to host the Yorkshire Rio Heroes parade was an extremely proud moment for us, and it was amazing to see so many people from the county and beyond cheering the outstanding achievements of all our local Olympic and Paralympic athletes.”
This event, which was organised with support from other local authorities across the region, does not replace homecoming celebrations that some councils are hosting for individual athletes.