London 2012 heroes on parade

A SPECTACULAR parade through the streets of the capital was a fitting finale to bring the curtain down on the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

And among the hundreds of athletes rubbing shoulders with one another on a convoy of floats were Hucknall hurdler Andy Turner, Hucknall-born water polo player Sean Ryder and Paralympic dressage medallist Sophie Wells, who trains out of Papplewick.

More than a million spectators and well-wishers lined the streets of London to thanks the members of Team GB for an unprecedented and unforgettable summer of sport.

Turner went out in the semi-finals of the 110m hurdles in the Olympic Stadium amid huge disappointment.

But he took to the social-networking site Twitter to thank everyone who supported the parade.

He said: “Absolutely blown away by all the support we had on the parade, big thanks to everyone.”

Sophie Well won a gold medal and two silvers at the Paralympics under the guidance of Pappelwick-based coach Angela Weiss.

The 22-year-old was sad to see the end of the London experience but said the parade and everything else about this summer had been amazing.

Ryder, who plays water polo professionally in Europe, was part of the Team GB squad competing in the sport at an Olympics for the first time since Melbourne, Australia in 1956.

Also posting on Twitter, he said: “Absolutely class! So proud to be British this summer.”

Speeches were made during the celebrations in London by Mayor Boris Johnson and Prime Minister David Cameron.

Special praise was reserved for the thousands of volunteers from around the country who made the Olympics and the Paralympics possible.

The ranks of these included several from the Dispatch district.