Thousands of people lined the streets of Leeds to watch Yorkshire’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes celebrate their success in Rio at a homecoming parade.
Medal-clad athletes including Leeds’s Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Kadeena Cox and Jack Laugher were among a host of stars who were on open-top buses to celebrate in their home city.
Adoring fans waved and cheered on the region’s sporting heroes as the buses set off at 5.15pm from Leeds Civic Hall.
Yorkshire rowers Andy Triggs Hodge, Tom Ransley and Paul bennett, Calderdale’s wheelchair sprinter Hannah Cockroft and Leeds Paralympian David Stone also joined in the Rio Heroes celebration parade.
And dancers from the West Indian Carnival, performers Band of the King’s Division, West Yorkshire Police Band and Handmade Samba Band entertained fans during the parade to add to the atmosphere.
The parade comes after TeamGB secured an incredible 67 medals at the Olympics in Rio - 14 of which were won by athletes from Yorkshire.
It also celebrated the success of the region’s Paralympic stars, who helped the nation’s squad reach a haul of 147 medals in Rio.
Other athletes who featured on the star-studded list of parade participants included Paralympic cycling pilot double gold medallist Adam Duggleby, swimmer Jonathan Booth and bronze medal gymnast Nile Wilson.
Leeds Olympic bronze medalist Nile Wilson said the parade would be a “special moment” for him.
He said: “I’m a Yorkshire lad born and bred and I have lived in Leeds my whole life. The parade is to give something back to the supporters and fans, we couldn’t have done it without them.”
Tom Riordan, Leeds City Council chief executive, said: “It’s great that we got such a fantastic set of athletes and it’s brilliant so many people, young and old turned, out turned out to celebrate that.
“We certainly know how to have a party in Yorkshire.”
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The people of Yorkshire and Leeds turned out in massive numbers for another fantastic sporting event.
“It shows what can be achieved with collaborations across Yorkshire.
Jonny Brownlee said: “It has been very special. It makes you proud to be from Yorkshire. When you are in the world of sport, you’re really sheltered from it. I wanted to soak it all up [during the parade].
Alistair Brownlee said: It’s fantastic to be back in Leeds and to see the support at the parade. We race all around the world, so to see all the people out on the streets in Leeds is just fantastic.
I didn’t expect so many people, I didn’t realise how big the whole event would be.
We had this after London in 2012, but this has been bigger still.
He said he felt emotional while touring the city centre on the bus.
It has been an emotional roller coaster of a year and these last few months, and in the build up to the Olympics, so it’s really nice to be home.