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Victory parade for Olympic medal heroes; Team GB will be given big welcome home.

Byline: Helen William

BRITAIN'S Beijing 2008 medal heroes are to get a victory parade, it was confirmed yesterday.

It will be to congratulate the Team GB stars who are currently on track to record one of the nation's greatest medal hauls at an Olympic Games.

They will be given a heroes' parade through London on October 16, the London Mayor Boris Johnson, the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association have confirmed.

Team GB have now won 12 golds - and more may come. Mr Johnson said: "Just over half way through the Beijing Games and Team GB has put in one of its best ever performances.

"In September, our Paralympians will, I hope, return from Beijing having achieved similar success. So to reflect the excitement and pride of the country in our athletes' superb victories, we've set a date in the diary now when we can cheer all our heroes and honour their extraordinary feats at this summer's Games."

Simon Clegg, the BOA's chief executive, said: "We are delighted that the Greater London Authority have decided to honour the team by providing a parade through the streets of London. This is a fitting tribute to the outstanding achievements of the whole team, who have collectively so far delivered Team GB's most successful Olympic Games since Antwerp 1920."

Phil Lane, the ParalympicsGB chief executive, said: "We're delighted to hear that Britain's Paralympians will be recognised for their achievements in Beijing by being part of this parade alongside Britain's Olympic athletes.

"Our team begin to fly out to the holding camps this week as the final preparations for the Beijing Paralympics are put in place and we're confident that when the ParalympicsGB team return to the UK, we will have many reasons to celebrate."

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister welcomes the decision to host a celebration parade for Team GB, so they can see how much support they have back at home, and we are talking to the BOA about their plans for public celebrations."

"This is a fitting tribute to the outstanding achievements of the whole team


GOLDEN MOMENT From left, Britain's Paul Manning, Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins show their gold medals from the track cycling men's team pursuit event in Beijing yesterday.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 19, 2008
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