17 September 2012
Games Spirit Inspired a Nation
More than a million people turned out to line the streets of London for the joint Team GB and Paralympics GB ‘Our Greatest Team’ parade, 10 September 2012. There was a carnival atmosphere as well-wishers packed the streets to cheer on Britain's sporting heroes who proudly wore their medals as they waved to fans from open-top floats.
Over 800 athletes took part, filling 21 floats that travelled from Guildhall, past St Paul’s Cathedral through Trafalgar Square and down the Mall to finish outside Buckingham Palace. Olympic and Paralympic equestrian medallists were out in force, filling float eight along with fellow team mates from diving.
The crowds, dozens deep in places, waved Union flags and chanted ‘Team GB’ as the floats passed, holding up hundreds of hand written banners, thanking the athletes for their performances. Many made their way onto the floats where athletes chanted their thanks in return for the public support.
British Equestrian Federation Chief Executive Andrew Finding commented on the feel good factor which has swept the nation:
“It was a fitting finale to a Games that has exceeded all expectations for equestrian sport. The support from the British public, the Games Makers and our armed forces throughout the last few weeks has been empowering and undoubtedly helped to carry our athletes to their successes. The crowds turned out in force again in glorious celebration of Team GB’s achievements; the collective pride and enthusiasm is awe inspiring – the atmosphere this Games has forged is one that we will never forget."
“It is up to each and every one of us now to keep this flame alive so that the sporting success of the London Games lives on to invigorate both the elite and grassroots ends of equestrian. We hope the Games will inspire growth and increase participation to get more people riding, driving, vaulting and volunteering to help enrich our fantastic sport.”
Our gold medal winning dressage trio summed up the summer, the parade and what's next for them;
> Watch the interview
Equestrian athletes who took part in the parade were: