Olympians given generous welcome home

Olympians given generous welcome home

Mon August 20, 2012 2:20pm

SYDNEY turned on a picture postcard day for the first of the Australian Olympic team's homecoming parades described by many athletes as amazing.

Tens of thousands of wellwishes lined George Street from Circular Quay to the city's Town Hall. In places the crowd was lined 20 to 50 deep.

Some 170 of the 410 athletes who competed at the Games marched, led up George Street led by a London doubledecker bus, jumping kangaroos and stiltwalkers.

With the official party comprising Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Premier Barry O'Farrell and his wife Rosemary, NSW Governor Marie Bashir and husband, former Sydney Lord Mayor Sir Nicholas Shehadie, and AOC President John Coates, the crowd in front of Town Hall, were entertained on a large screen with action of our athletes' performances.

“We all know it's the sport, not the outcome, but the outcome has been superb,” Professor Bashir said.

“There's no doubt that you're serving as very powerful role models for young people. Countless young Australians will be striving to aspire to your ranks.”

Professor Bashir was presented with the signatures of all the athletes by London flag bearers Lauren Jackson and Malcolm Page.

The liudest cheers were save for some of our individual gold medallists - hurdler Sally Pearson, cyclist Anna Meares and sailor Tom Slingsby.

A woman dressed as Queen Elizabeth II, with a pair of well behaved corgies never far away, got in on the act too.

“It's just amazing to see just how many people turned out for the parade,” a beaming Libby Trickett said.

For for another golden girl, Anna Meares, it was her third “homecoming” from an Olympics.

“The roll-up is simply fantastic, and it is always a fun part of being an Olympian, coming home,” Meares said.

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