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Olympic and Paralympic Heroes Parade


text 81111 (with "OLYMPICS" as the first word) or use 606 (Not all contributions can be used)

By Caroline Cheese

1335: The athletes are beginning to wander off stage, heading for lunch chez Queen. Lucky beggars. Soup and a sarnie for me. Many thanks for your company today. See you in 2012 then? Magic.

1330: I know it's slightly worrying that this man is the mayor of the country's capital city, but I cannot help but laugh every time I hear Boris 'BoJo' Johnson. As he begins an interview with Simon Mayo on BBC Radio 5 Live, he actually says: "Mayo, I like Mayo on everything!" before continuing in slightly more serious vein: "There is something of the spirit of 2008 still here, but I'm not going to lie and say it will be possible to keep that going for the next four years. There will be ups and downs and Olympo-scepticism will return. It will be a challenge and a privilege but we will deliver."

1325: Further to my earlier comment (see 1317), jumping into the fountain at Trafalgar Square is not funny, or indeed clever. It's actually illegal. So congratulations to everyone for resisting the temptation to go for a dip.

1322: The tickertape clears... but the athletes are still enjoying their moment in the spotlight, and the crowd are refusing to go anywhere. I don't blame them. This has indeed been a very British day - and a very British day wouldn't be complete without a good dollop of scepticism would it?

1317: The tickertape is flying at Trafalgar Square as London Calling by the Clash rings out. Still no one in the fountain. Come on people, it's not that cold... Where's Bradley Wiggins when you need him?

1315: In a message which is surely directed at those sceptics on 606, Boris says: "I've heard some people questioning why we are having this parade in the middle of October. I say this: there's never a wrong time to celebrate the best achievement by a British Olympic and Paralympic team since 1908. There is no wrong time to celebrate the best cycling results by any team ever in the history of sport, or the incredible achievements of our rowers, sailors and swimmers, who have the managed the greatest aquatic triumph since Horatio Nelson won at the Battle of Trafalgar itself."

1311: I thought I actually heard some teenage-sounding screams as London mayor Boris Johnson stumbled onto the stage. What is the world coming to?

1310: "Wonder what the Queen will serve at this afternoon's bash. None of this lot want the crusts cut off their sandwiches."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce on Twitter
Tom's Twitter

1308: "They've promised me burger and chips for life," says double swimming gold medallist Becky Adlington, who has had a pub named after her in her home town Mansfield. "I'm not sure my coach would be too happy if I took them up on it."
Pub named in medallist's honour

1306: Paralympics double gold medallist Ellie Simmonds is chaired onto the stage by David Davies and Ross Davenport. The 13-year-old became Britain's youngest ever Paralympic champion in Beijing. She's got a gold-medal winning smile too.

1302: A special teenage-flavoured scream for Tom Daley at Trafalgar Square. "I'm sure in 2012, it'll be the best Olympics ever," says the 14-year-old. He's an old pro at these things...

1257: Here's another of my Olympic heroes: Tim 'The Bullet' Brabants, who won canoeing gold for Britain. "I've been keeping active since I got back, doing a couple of triathlons and things," he tells Sue Barker. A couple of triathlons??! Whatever happened to popping to the shop for some milk and chocolate hob nobs to keep yourself active?

1253: Paralympic shooting gold medallist Matt Skelhon takes to the stage, sporting a bright red fin haircut and the remnants of GBR shaved into the side. He scored a perfect 600 in the final - but reveals he might give archery a go in 2012. Just for a laugh, you know.

1253: James DeGale looks like he's ready to spar with Sue Barker as he bobs from foot to foot during their interview. On the prickly subject of whether he'll turn pro now, he says: "I'm so proud to be British. Things like this make me want to go forward to London, but obviously I've got a big decision to make."

1250: After this party in Trafalgar Square, the athletes are off to Buck House to see the Queen. I wonder if they'll save a sandwich for a dedicated live text commentator...

1247: "A lady in front of me has stationed her foam hand and flag on the end of a crutch for extra reach. Olympic ingenuity!"
BBC Sport's Ollie Williams on Twitter
Ollie's Twitter

1246: Sailing next, and there's superman Ben Ainslie, who can't help but raise his eyebrows as he is asked for the millionth time whether he'll be competing in 2012. "Yes," is his answer. Hurrah!

1244: Three times a triple gold medallist at the Paralympics, dressage star Lee Pearson is next for a Sue Barker grilling... "The Paralympics have changed my life totally. To go from an average disabled person to someone who can inspire other disabled people, it's amazing. Whatever you're born with, you will have a talent in life."

1237: Athletics gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu reads from the Dame Kelly Holmes script with a: "Hello, London." She seems a bit nervous though, bless her. "My little sister does a bit of athletics," she reveals. "We can only support her and hope she gets to London in one piece." Time to get your money on an Ohuruogu double in 2012?

1234: Now then, I've been trying to ignore the wave of negativity which seems to have overtaken 606. I don't know. I love a parade, me, but it seems not everyone is of the same mindset. One of the questions: Why is it on a Thursday? Here's what Simon Clegg, Team GB's chef de mission, had to say on the matter: "We have had to recognise that bringing all the athletes together has been very challenging."
Get involved on 606

1231: It turns out our Interactive Map is even fancier than I thought. Big congratulations to rascally42, who is the first person to take a photo, geo-tag it, and upload to BBC Sport's parade photo pool. Technology eh? Mind-blowing...

1227: Appropriately enough, the rowing team are next on stage. The triumphant heavyweight four prove very popular with the crowd. Steve Williams' parents are at home in Australia, avidly listening to the BBC 5 Live commentary.
Victoria Derbyshire's blog

Sir Steve Redgrave and John Inverdale
1225: Always a pleasure to see Sir Steve Redgrave on my television. He's sporting a rather dapper white polo neck and blazer combo. Nice. Of course, back in August, the five-times Olympic gold medallist was forced to wear an ugly pac-a-mac, another of my favourite Games memories. Seems a good time to republish the offending picture.

1221: "Saw swimmer Kate Heywood at Kings Cross station early this morning."
Anon via text on 81111
Any more Olympic celebrity spots...?

1220: Massive cheer for Chris Hoy as he introduced to the crowd. "I just want to say thank you to the British public for being so supportive. This is an incredible reception. Thank you."

1215: The first of the lorries has reached Trafalgar Square, which looks ram-packed as the cyclists take to the stage - and we get our first burst of that familiar Olympic theme tune. Nicole Cooke speaks to Sue Barker first. The road cyclist won Britain's first gold medal at the Games, very much the highlight of the whole shebang for me. What a thoroughly nice girl she appears to be too.

1212: "It's the toughest race I've done in my life. Back home in Wales, I'm known as the guy who got lost at the end."
David Davies, who won silver in the 10km swim
Battling Davies wins 10km silver

1209: "Crowds a touch more sparse along The Strand. Percentage of confused tourists grows."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce on Twitter
Tom's Twitter

1207: "There are so many to choose from. It's very flattering to have your name mentioned along the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Rebecca Adlington. Just to be part of it is a great honour."
Chris Hoy on his BBC Sports Personality award hopes
BBC Sports Personality 2008

1202: "It's crazy, mad, mad. I'm like a little celeb at the moment. I was presenting an award at the MOBOs last night to Leona Lewis. It was mad man."
Boxing gold medallist James DeGale
What now for DeGale?

1158: On the subject of Sunderland boxer Tony Jeffries, his rather brilliant dad was on BBC Radio 5 Live earlier. He and Tony were at a do at Sunderland Football Club recently and Tony entrusts his dad with his light heavyweight bronze medal. After several sherbets, dad goes home. Next morning, Tony phones to find out where the medal is. Dad says he gave him it back, Tony denies it. Wife wants divorce, but as she's making a slice of toast, she finds it in the knife and fork drawer where Phil had put it the night before for safe keeping...

1156: "The parade stalled for a few minutes and I got talking to Olympic boxer Tony Jeffries. Seemed like a really nice bloke, proud to be there and was making jokes that it was easy to tell he is a boxer due to his nose. He is a real credit to his country, his sport and the Olympic movement."
merrySmickers on 606
Get involved on 606

1153: "This is crazy. These people are the ones inspiring me to London 2012. The whole of London has shut down. I don't know what's going on. It's nuts."
Triple jumper Phillips Idowu
What now for Idowu?

1152: "Passing Royal Courts of Justice. Team GB found guilty of massive gold robbery... Outside the Australian Embassy. Crowd on pavement thins out dramatically. Heh heh."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce on Twitter
Tom's Twitter

1150: "Is there a competition for spotting the most Olympians on the tube home?"
Mike, London, via text on 81111
Double points for a gold medallist...

1148: "In 1980 (at the Moscow Olympics) Sheffield came to a bit of a standstill during my race with Steve (Ovett) - it's all a little more sophisticated now."
A rather wistful Seb Coe on BBC 5 Live

1142: Now, there are any number of magical ways in which you can follow this parade. One of them is our fancy interactive map, where you can actually follow our intrepid reporters Tom and Ollie's progress via Twitter. So if they stop off at Maccy Ds for a cheeky cheeseburger, we'll all know about it...
Heroes Parade - interactive map

1139: "This is my first parade that I have had since school. I remember that when I was in the girl guides there was a special parade in our village and I was dressed as a Tour de France cyclist in a cycling jersey - that was really fun and important at the time, but this is much more fun."
Cycling gold medallist Victoria Pendleton
What now for Pendleton?

1134: A very excitable Dame Kelly Holmes is whipping up the crowd at a packed Trafalgar Square, where the parade finishes up. "We can't wait for London. Bring it on!!!!" she screams, as Sue Barker cowers. Holmes would make a great warm-up for Bon Jovi at Wembley...

1132: "Bright sunshine at St Paul's, and screams from the schoolkids as Phillips Idowu throws them a casual salute."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce on Twitter
Tom's Twitter

1129: Plenty of school kids seem to be bunking off to watch the parade... no, I'm sure they've got permission. One of their number is actually on one of the lorries. Here's diver Tom Daley: "This is a pretty big day really and the school lets us off if we have a big day. I'm missing maths and Spanish at school today but this is really worth it."

1123: Road cycling silver medallist Emma Pooley is on the telly, prompting a colleague to come out with this dazzling stat: "If Trinity Hall College, Cambridge were an independent nation it would have finished 49th in the Olympic medal table. Pooley won silver and rower Tom James gold."

1121: "I wouldn't miss this for the world. Our success is everybody's success."
Rowing gold medallist Mark Hunter
What now for Mark Hunter?

1117: "Lord Mayor looking very spiffy in his red robes on the balcony of Mansion House. Someone's been dishing out St George's flags. Poor choice. Big cheers from the construction workers and City boys for Victoria Pendleton."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce on Twitter
Tom's Twitter

1115: "Amid the excitement a lady is compelled to ask me 'is there a Burger King nearby?' So much for 'get fit for 2012'."
BBC Sport's Ollie Williams on Twitter
Ollie's Twitter

1113: "I am heading out of the office shortly to go and see if I can spot my brother among the athletes which is very exciting! Although I am sure he will be very embarrassed about his sister waving at him like a mad woman!"
jollyhockeychick on 606
Get involved on 606

1110: What a terribly British day this is going to be. Love it. The band of the Coldstream Guards will lead the lorries. Wonder if they take requests... The all-conquering cyclists are on lorry one.

1107: The lorries are lined up ready to go, there are office workers hanging out of the windows of the Bank of England trying to catch a glimpse of the likes of Sir Christopher Hoy, Nicole Cooke - and Clare Balding no doubt.

1102: And here's Ollie: "Man trying to offer foam hands to passing cyclists. Recipe for disaster."
Ollie's Twitter

1055: Our intrepid reporters Tom Fordyce and Ollie Williams are braving the throngs in central London and they'll be Twitter-ing throughout the day. Here's Tom: "They're three-deep in front of the Bank of England, and not just to withdraw their savings."
Tom's Twitter

1051: BREAKING NEWS... Double gold medallist Becky Adlington will not be wearing her gold Jimmy Choo shoes today. The super-swimmer tells BBC Radio 5 Live: "I've got to wear trainers today. I'm so disappointed but at least I have comfort."
What next for Adlington?

1045: So while we're waiting, why not let me know which sport you've taken up in a last-ditch bid for Olympic glory in 2012? I was thinking archery, but after performing a quite stunning sprint for the bus last night, negotiating a series of dithering people, and after several shandies I might add, I think I might go for the 100m instead. Text on 81111, or get involved for free on 606.
Olympics blog

1041: Now then. Apparently, squeezing 330 athletes onto 12 floats/buses/trucks is proving something of a challenge so we may have a slight delay. Never mind eh? We've got all day... and the sun is shining!

1035: So the trucks start rolling on this grandly-named 'Olympic and Paralympic Heroes Parade' at 1100 BST, and we'll be keeping you right up to date with events throughout the day. It's going to be a very lonely place, though, without your contributions. So come on then, channel the spirit of those heady days in August and get texting on 81111 or join the beautiful people of 606.
Get involved on 606

1030: If you, like me, are still weeping at the very thought of four long, dreary years stretching ahead of you until the next Olympics, today is made for you. We can pretend it never ended! I'm even looking forward to hearing that pesky theme tune again... bing, bing, bing, bing, bing etc etc (with apologies to Damon Albarn).


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At-a-glance medals table

Sunday, 24 August 2008 10:17 UK
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 China 51 21 28 100
2 USA 36 38 36 110
3 Russia 23 21 28 72
4 Great Britain 19 13 15 47
5 Germany 16 10 15 41
6 Australia 14 15 17 46
7 South Korea 13 10 8 31
8 Japan 9 6 10 25
9 Italy 8 10 10 28
10 France 7 16 17 40

see also
Team GB's roll of honour
23 Aug 08 |  Beijing 2008
Paralympics - GB's roll of honour
22 Sep 08 |  Disability Sport
Beijing bids farewell to Olympics
24 Aug 08 |  Beijing 2008
London takes over as Olympic host
24 Aug 08 |  London 2012
GB Olympic heroes welcomed home
25 Aug 08 |  Beijing 2008
British Paralympians return home
18 Sep 08 |  Disability Sport

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