Celebrations across the city as Rio athletes come back home

Great Britain diver Alicia Blagg.
Great Britain diver Alicia Blagg.

On more than sixty occasions during the past month, Team GB athletes have taken pride of place by securing spots on the Olympic podium.

They returned home from Rio this week, with a haul of 67 medals, topping the London 2012 scoop by two and making Britain the first nation to ever improve on a home medal total at the next Olympic Games.

Max Litchfield.

Max Litchfield.

Sporting celebrations will take place across the city on Saturday to mark their homecoming.

And Wakefield Council is encouraging people to take part in activities, inspired by the athlete’s achievements.

It is backing the national ‘I am Team GB’ campaign by holding a series of hour-long free swims at the district’s pools as well as inviting people to try out running at Thornes Park Stadium’s athletics track.

Coun Les Shaw, the council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “Watching Team GB at the Olympic Games has been amazing with great performances from so many athletes.

Leah Evans, ParalympicsGB wheelchair basketball.

Leah Evans, ParalympicsGB wheelchair basketball.

“We’re so proud of them all, including our home grown athletes Alicia Blagg and Max Litchfield.

“We also want to wish our Paralympic athletes – Leah Evans, Sophie Carrigill and Jamie Stead all the best in Rio when the Games start on Wednesday, September 7.

“I hope the ‘I am Team GB’ campaign will inspire children and adults to take the chance to go and try a sport and have fun.”

The national initiative, organised by The National Lottery and ITV and supported by Team GB sportsmen and women, aims to create the nation’s biggest sports day.

Jamie Stead, ParalympicsGB wheelchair rugby.

Jamie Stead, ParalympicsGB wheelchair rugby.

Councils, community groups and leisure organisations have been encouraged to stage thousands of free, fun events, up and down the country.

And people can also celebrate Team GB’s achievements by doing their own exercise including yoga, cycling, gymnastics and dog walking.

To find out more about other events in the district http://iamteamgb.com/take-part

Sophie Carrigill, ParalympicsGB wheelchair basketball.

Sophie Carrigill, ParalympicsGB wheelchair basketball.