City salutes its Games heroes

13 August 2012 / 19:55

Three Olympic medallists have received a hero's welcome as they returned to their home city to celebrate their success.

Thousands of people turned out in Leeds to see triathlon gold and bronze medal winning brothers, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, and cycling road race silver medalist Lizzie Armitstead.

The trio attended a special reception held in their honour in Millennium Square. The crowd of around 5,000 people cheered loudly and waved Union flags as the athletes were led through the square and welcomed on to the stage.

One group held up a hand-drawn sign reading "Pride of Yorkshire" and listing the names of the medal-winning athletes.

Also present at the celebration were members of the Team GB diving squad, including Jack Laugher, Alicia Blagg, Hannah Starling and Sarah Barrow, and weightlifters Gareth Evans and Jack Oliver. A special welcome was given to Dee Adams, mother of gold medal-winning boxer Nicola Adams.

The Brownlee brothers said they hoped their success would inspire others.

Asked if they had a message for their Yorkshire fans, Alistair Brownlee said: "Thank you very much for turning out, hope you enjoyed it and be inspired to do some sport, do some triathlon."

Jonathan Brownlee described the turnout as "absolutely incredible". He said: "We didn't realise how much it would affect people back home. We come back here and see how exciting it is, it's absolutely amazing."

Armitstead said it was incredible to be back home. She said: "I'm more tired now than I've been all season but I'm just trying to soak up the atmosphere and just looking forward to being at home for a week, being with friends and family."

Thanking her fans in Leeds, she said: "I hope that it leaves a legacy, especially for young people to get into sport."