At a celebration event on Millennium Square last night, over 5,000 people turned out to show their support for the Leeds Athletes and coaches who competed in the London 2012 Olympics.
Amongst the stars of the night were the Olympic medallists from the city. These included Alistair (gold medallist) and Jonathan (bronze medallist) Brownlee who competed in the Triathlon and silver medallist in the cycling road race and Team GB’s first medal winner Lizzie Armitstead.
Also cheered by the crowd were Leeds Olympians from the GB diving team Sarah Barrow, Alicia Blagg, Hannah Starling and Jack Laugher, and the two GB weightlifters Jack Oliver and Gareth Evans. Unfortunately Nicola Adams, who won the fist ever women’s Olympic boxing medal when she took gold in the women’s boxing, was unable to make the event, but sent a video message to the crowd thanking them for all their support during the games.
The event, organised by Leeds City Council and BT, who are an official Live Site sponsor for the London 2012 Olympic Games, saw the athletes taking to the stage, after greeting members of the public, to show off their medals and talk about their experiences whilst competing in the London 2012 Olympics.
Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Ann Castle said:
“It was an fantastic to be able to welcome the athletes back to the city of Leeds, and see so many proud people cheering them on in the audience.
“We are immensely proud of all our athletes and they have truly inspired the city, from our youngsters right through the generations.
“I would like to thank the athletes for taking the time to come back to the city and show off their medals and also to the vast amount of crowds who turned up to make this a truly memorable occasion.
“This years Olympics has been truly memorable, and even more special with the successes that our Leeds based athletes in Team GB have achieved. I am looking forward to our continued success when the Paralympic Games begin at the end of the month“
BT Ambassador Alistair Brownlee, said:
"It was amazing to come home to Leeds and see the support we've had from people here. The Olympics have been such a fantastic experience and I hope it's inspired people to get out there and get active."
Jonathan Brownlee added:
"I've been really overwhelmed by all the messages of support and it was great to see so many people in Millennium Square. We're really happy to be home and thanks to everyone for coming down last night".
Lizzie Armistead when asked by BBC Look North about the crowds and support at last nights event said:
“It is not something you think about when you are competing. I wasn’t thinking about after the Olympics, I was just focusing on training and cycling.
“It has been a whirlwind, and the best two weeks of my life.”
For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450