Friday, 10 August 2012

Leeds welcomes home Olympic athletes

A welcoming home celebration for all the Leeds athletes that have competed in the London 2012 Olympics will be held on Millennium Square on Monday 13 August.

Organised by Leeds City Council and BT, who are an official Live Site sponsor for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the event will be attended by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Ann Castle, and will welcome athletes and coaches from Leeds and those based in the city who have been part of Team GB. The event will be a chance for the city to join in the celebration of their achievements.

Members of the public can come and celebrate the successes of the athletes on Millennium Square from 5:45pm, where entertainment will be provided, before the athletes take to the stage.

Triumphant triathlon stars the Brownlee brothers, and boxing gold medallist Nicola Adams have already been confirmed for the event, along with our five divers, Alicia Blagg, Hannah Starling, Jack Laugher, Sarah Barrow and Rebecca Gallantree. All the Leeds athletes have been invited to the celebration, and there will be updates up until the day as more are confirmed.

Leeds’ involvement in the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games has developed from having six athletes and support staff at the 2004 Games in Athens, to 10 in Beijing in 2008, and now a total of 30 who have and will be competing in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Leeds has had great success at the London 2012 Olympic with the Brownlee brothers taking gold and bronze in the Triathlon, Nicola Adams taking gold in the flyweight boxing, and Lizzie Armistead taking silver in the women’s road race cycling.

The celebration will start from 5.45pm on Millennium Square, where the stage will be set for the athletes. Entertainment will be provided by the Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra and dance group DAZL, and then the athletes will be welcomed to the stage to show off their medals and talk about their Olympic experiences.

The Lord Mayor will then host a civic reception for the athletes and their families.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Ann Castle said:

“On behalf of the city I would like to extend our congratulations to all our athletes at what has been a truly memorable and exciting Olympic Games.

“The city’s athletes have had a great Games, and we are all immensely proud of them. I would encourage everyone who has taken an interest in the Olympics to come down and celebrate with us.

“This event will give the city a chance to see their athletes, welcome them back and show their support for all the achievements.

“The Games have been absolutely amazing, and it is a real honour to have so many talented young athletes coming from our city.”

Suzi Williams, BT Group Marketing and Brand director, said:

“BT is delighted to be helping Leeds welcome back athletes from what has been a hugely successful Olympic Games for Team GB.

We have been backing a number of athletes in the build up to the Games and we’re particularly proud to have supported Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee on their four year road to 2012.

Their medal success was a truly great moment for British sport and we're proud to join the people of Leeds celebrating their glory."

For more information on how Leeds is getting involved in the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, visit www.leedsgold.co.uk

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk