Page last updated at 08:21 GMT, Monday, 25 August 2008 09:21 UK

Welsh medallists join celebration

Clockwise from top left: Tom James, Geraint Thomas, Tom Lucy, Davies; Nicole Cooke
Centre: Nicole Cooke; clockwise from top left: Tom James, Geraint Thomas, Tom Lucy, David Davies

All five Welsh Beijing Olympic medal winners will be at a public celebration in Cardiff, officials have confirmed.

It is a welcome home for the Welsh athletes who helped Team GB to their best games for 100 years.

Ten of the 12 Welsh team members will join an open-top bus tour culminating at the Senedd, at noon on Tuesday.

They will include gold medallists Nicole Cooke, Tom James and Geraint Thomas, and silver winners Tom Lucy and David Davies.

The other Welsh athletes there will be swimmers Thomas Haffield and Jemma Lowe, hockey player Sarah Thomas, runner Christian Malcolm and triathlete Helen Tucker.

I want the athletes to look out across a sea of Welsh flags and for the cheers to be heard in Weston Super Mare!
First Minister Rhodri Morgan
The event will also feature Only Men Aloud!, the Cardiff choir who will contest the final of the BBC talent show Last Choir Standing next weekend.

The public are being urged to give a heroes' welcome to the athletes, the day after their return home from Beijing on Monday.

People are urged to arrive at the Senedd by 1130 BST on Tuesday to ensure they have a good view.

The open-top bus will make a short tour of Cardiff Bay, starting from Stuart Street, near Techniquest, and finishing at the home of the Welsh assembly.

Big screen in Swansea
A big screen was erected in Swansea for the Olympics
First Minister Rhodri Morgan, Sports Minister Alun Ffred Jones and Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis Thomas will greet the athletes as they arrive at the Senedd.

"They have made us proud through their inspiring and courageous achievements in Beijing - now it is our turn to show our appreciation," said Mr Morgan.

"I want the athletes to look out across a sea of Welsh flags and for the cheers to be heard in Weston Super Mare! "

'Great honour'

Meanwhile, the Olympic flag was hoisted at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Sunday to signify the fact that it will host events during the 2012 games.

Former Olympic 110m hurdles semi-finalist and Wales rugby international Nigel Walker joined Roger Lewis, group chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union, in raising the flag, which will remain in place for several weeks.

The stadium will host preliminary round, quarter-final and semi-final soccer matches in the London games.

Mr Walker, who is on the board of UK Sport, said: "The selection of the Millennium Stadium as an Olympic venue is a great honour for the whole of Wales.

"I was privileged to represent my country at the Olympics and then to go on to play rugby for Wales so this has a special relevance to me."

Mr Lewis said: "We've seen from the success of Beijing that the whole world watches when the Olympics is taking place.

"The eyes of the world will be on Wales in 2012 and the Millennium Stadium will be a proud symbol of our nation for the world to see."

The WRU will also invite Welsh Olympians to Wales' autumn rugby internationals.




SEE ALSO
Thomas extends Welsh medal haul
18 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Cooke grabs first GB gold medal
10 Aug 08 |  Cycling


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