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Fans recall Olympic memories at Heroes Parade

Monday afternoon saw thousands of fans line the streets of Manchester in the rain to welcome home Great Britain’s Olympians and Paralympians.

After an unprecedented success in Rio de Janeiro, the athletes’ parade gave the general public the chance to see their heroes in person and celebrate their achievements.

Despite being eight and a half weeks after the Olympics, and four and a half weeks after the Paralympics, the parade gave many fans the chance to reflect on the summer of success.

Jess Ennis-Hill was among the attending athletes, while notable absentees included Sir Bradley Wiggins, Andy Murray and Mo Farah. Credit: Karan Gadhia

“There wasn’t one medal that stood out, but the success of the team overall was amazing,” explained Trevor Howard, who had travelled from Stockport to see the event.

“To come second in the medal table was incredible especially as we won some medals we never thought we would.”

For Trevor’s wife Cheryl however, it was Team GB’s success on the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon that stood out.

“It has to be the rowing for me. There wasn’t one medal in particular, but the way the medal tally just kept on rising, it was incredible.”

Team GB topped the rowing medal table with three golds and two silvers, following their London 2012 success which saw them win nine medals in total.

Fans and athletes braved the rain in Manchester.

But while some sports saw Great Britain maintain their success, some medals came completely out of the blue.

“The gymnastics was awesome,” said Craig Moore, a bank manager from Chester.

“It’s something we never expected to medal in, and then we won two golds in the space of an hour. It was absolutely brilliant.”

“My standout moment was the Brownlees,” Ryan Jones, 19, revealed.

“I watched them in London four years ago, and to gone one better to take gold and silver was unbelievable. I like running but I could never do what those two do,” he joked.

At the home Olympics four years ago, there was a large emphasis on creating a legacy that would help get more people involved in sport, and although this year’s edition took place over 5,000 miles away, Claire Appleby thinks it had the same effect.

“I’ve played hockey since I was in high school,” she recalled, “so the women winning gold was amazing. I watched every game and we just got better and better.”

“We definitely saw an increase in players at the club after the Olympics, which is really good. I think it really inspired a lot of women to try a new sport and you can’t ask for more than that.”


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