Prospecting for Gold at Parade of Heroes 16 Oct 08


Fresh from Mount Olympus athletic gods and goddesses the Team GB descended upon the City of London to parade on floats through its streets from Mansion House to Trafalgar Square.

Crowds and onlookers along the route welcomed over 300 triumphant Olympians and Paralympians with cheers and adulation waving flags and raising their own flagging moral.

On a sunny bright day amidst the gloom of the global economy, a sense of national pride quickly spread and gripped people in London.

The gold rush was on as Trafalgar Square was swamped with throngs prospecting for gold and people weren't disappointed when they saw national heroes proudly wearing their gold medals.  Collectively the Olympians and Paralympians amassed an impressive total of 149 gold, silver & bronze medals and came fourth and second respectively in the Beijing Olympics medals table making it a lucky '08.

Stage was set with the Union Jack where else but in Trafalgar Square steeped in history and victory where the heroes led by Chris Hoy arrived.  Sue Barker interviewed the champions in various categories while other athletes waved to crowds from a balcony.

Finally Boris Johnson Mayor of London breezed in and weaved his way onto the podium with Tessa Jowell Olympics Minister to salute and honour Team GB.  Mr Johnson spoke animatedly congratulating Team GB and praising them for their tremendous achievements, the best ever Olympic results since 1908!  Athletes were encouraged to perform even better in 2012.  Cheers went up as colourful confetti rained down on people and Team GB  dispersed imbued with enthusiasm looking forward to new challenges since, some of the champions said they hadn't peaked yet -

The show was over for now and the stage dismantled left with scaffolding and an empty ‘Hotel for Birds' sculpture without its patrons by T. Schutte on the Fourth plinth - one of the security men looked puzzled possibly wondering where the birds had gone....

By Amita Chatterji © Photos of event below












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