By Daniel Hunter
Route details for Our Greatest Team Parade, the procession of Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes, were confirmed this week.
The public celebration of the achievements of British Olympians and Paralympians at the London 2012 Games will take place on Monday 10 September, organised by the Mayor of London in conjunction with the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association.
Our Greatest Team are due to set out from Mansion House in the City at 1:30pm, with around 800 athletes travelling on 21 floats, organised by sport and with medal winners across the length of the parade. They will travel along Queen Victoria Street and Cannon Street, passing by St Paul's Cathedral, continuing along Fleet Street, past Aldwych and into The Strand, before reaching Trafalgar Square.
A big screen at the base of Nelson's Column along with live commentary will allow spectators to cheer on the athletes as the parade makes its way past Trafalgar Square.
After passing Trafalgar Square the athletes will go through Admiralty Arch into The Mall, travelling down to the Queen Victoria Memorial. For capacity reasons, partly due to the infrastructure still in place from the previous day's Paralympic Marathon, the area from Admiralty Arch to the Queen Victoria Memorial will be ticketed and reserved for groups who have made an invaluable contribution to the Games and the success of our athletes. These will include 14,000 volunteers, members of the blue light services, military personnel, Team GB and ParalympicsGB coaches and support staff, friends and family of the athletes involved as well as schoolchildren from every London borough.
The Prime Minister will host an event to recognise the achievements of the athletes. Further details will be available nearer the time of the event.
To get the best views of all of the floats and interviews with the athletes, continuous coverage of the parade will be broadcast throughout the day on BBC One, BBC News Channel, Channel 4 and Sky.
Between Mansion House and Trafalgar Square members of the public wishing to cheer on their heroes should expect very large crowds along the whole route. Anyone planning to come along should ensure they plan their journey in advance and take public transport wherever possible. Extensive road closures around the route will be in place throughout the morning and until after the parade passes through Trafalgar Square. These will have an impact on a large area in and around central London so it is essential to plan ahead.
"In the ancient world crowds would line the streets to welcome their triumphant Olympians home, where they would be ecstatically venerated and their victories chronicled for the ages, with names like Leonidas of Rhodes and Milo of Kroton reverberating through history," The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said.
"But no sporting heroes will have been more lauded, no achievements more celebrated, and no nation more passionately proud than at the Our Greatest Team Parade, which will sweep through central London in a glorious miasma of colour, noise and excitement. This is a chance to celebrate the heroes and heroines who have thrilled us with their skills, sportsmanship, and grace during London’s spectacular Olympic and Paralympic Games, and whose names and triumphs will live on for centuries to come."
The Our Greatest Team parade is being organised by the Mayor of London, BOA and BPA, with the support of BA, BP, BT, National Lottery and Visa. It is being delivered with a range of partners, including the City of London Corporation, Westminster City Council, Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, LOCOG and The Royal Parks.
All timings are approximate and details subject to change. A parade route map, along with further information and updates, will be available on www.molpresents.com/parade. For general advice about travelling and transport within London go to www.tfl.gov.uk. For information on the Paralympic Route Network: www.getaheadofthegames.com.
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