Cyclists Lead Olympic and Paralympic Heroes Parade

15th October 2008
by Marshall Thomas

The streets of London will be awash with a tide of gold, silver and bronze on Thursday October 16 as around 300 of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes are set to parade through the capital.

Britain’s public are expected to turn up in their thousands to take the opportunity to pay tribute to the athletes who lit up the summer of 2008 with their inspirational and unforgettable performances.

Rightfully leading the way in the first of 12 floats will be Team GB and ParalympicsGB’s all-conquering cycling teams. Triple Beijing gold medallist Chris Hoy will be accompanied by fellow Olympic Champions Bradley Wiggins, Nicole Cooke, Victoria Pendleton and Rebecca Romero alongside Paralympic Champions Sarah and Barney Storey, Rachel Morris and Simon Richardson and Jody Cundy. 

Closely following the cyclists in float two will be Britain’s outstanding rowers who will have no fewer than 22 Olympic medals on show after once again dominating on the water. They will be joined by Paralympic rowing champions Tom Aggar and Helene Raynsford, who became the first athletes to win Paralympic rowing golds, when the sport made its debut at the Games this summer.

Floats three to five will contain the Olympic and Paralympic athletics squads, including London’s own Olympic 400m Champion Christine Ohuruogu and two-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir. Wheelchair tennis medallists Peter Norfolk and Jamie Burdekin will also be aboard this float.

Team GB’s first ever taekwondo medallist Sarah Stevenson will accompany modern pentathlon silver medallist Heather Fell on float six. They will be joined by the Olympic and Paralympic equestrian teams including Beijing’s all-conquering triple gold medallist Lee Pearson. 

Look out for Briton’s sailors on float seven. Having convincingly ruled the waves in China, all of Team GB’s Olympic gold medallists, including triple Olympic Champion Ben Ainslie, will be present to join the party atmosphere in London.

Gold medallist boxer James Degale will be punching the air with delight from float eight, along with Britain’s medal-winning Paralympic archers. Powerhouse canoeing champion Tim Brabants and Britain’s two Paralympic football teams will be conducting the crowds from float ten.

Fourteen-year-old Olympic diving sensation Tom Daley will be joined on float eleven by eleven-time Paralympic gold medallist Dave Roberts. Britain’s pair of double gold medallist swimmers will bring up the rear on the twelfth and final float as thirteen-year-old Paralympian Eleanor Simmonds will be beside Rebecca Adlington to complete the line up of heroes.

The parade is due to begin in front of the Mansion House in the City at 11am. The athletes will travel down Great Victoria Street and past St Paul's Cathedral. They will head down Fleet Street, past the Royal Courts of Justice and down the Strand.
 
The first float is due to arrive in Trafalgar Square at around 12:30pm. The athletes are due to assemble on the north terrace overlooking the square with proceedings expected to have been finished by 1.30pm.
  
The Olympic and Paralympic Heroes parade is proudly supported by Visa, BT, Lloyds TSB and BP.
 
All timings are approximate and details are subject to change. Route information is available at the website.

Table showing order of floats:

Float Sports
1 Cycling
2 Rowing
3 Athletics, Wheelchair Tennis
4 Athletics, Weightlifting, Wheelchair Basketball
5 Athletics
6 Triathlon, Modern Pentathlon, Taekwondo, Equestrian, Table Tennis
7 Sailing, Gymnastics, Wheelchair Rugby
8 Boxing, Archery, Badminton
9 Hockey, Shooting, Boccia
10 Canoeing, Fencing, Judo, Football
11 Swimming, Diving
12 Swimming