Live Commentary: Great Britain Athletes' Parade

Team GB group shot
© PA Photos
Follow Sports Mole's live coverage of the Olympic and Paralympic parade.

After last night's (second) closing ceremony, London 2012 is now officially, properly over.

Well, almost. There's still one event left: the Great Britain Athletes' Parade. This afternoon, more than 800 athletes from TeamGB and ParalympicsGB will be paraded around the streets of central London in a public celebration of their sporting achievements this summer.

Join Sports Mole over the next few hours as we bring you full, wheel-by-wheel coverage of some vehicles moving down a road.


4.37pmAs the athletes head off for what will be the Tube journey from hell, here ends our coverage of the athletes parade and Sports Mole's coverage of the Olympics and Paralympics at large. Thanks for joining us this summer and do check in with us again this evening to see if Andy Murray can nab one more piece of GB glory!

4.36pm'Sexy and I Know It' is played over the speakers. Tom Daley's moment to shine, surely.

4.35pmEddie Izzard poses for pictures. Bit random.

4.34pmThe athletes seem mostly bemused by the performance.

4.30pmEnding things are The Noisettes.

4.28pmKatherine Jenkins appears to sing 'God Save The Queen'. This amounts to one very large wake-up call right outside of her house.

4.25pm"The most successful team of athletes this country has ever assembled. This was your achievement. You brought this country together in a way we never expected. You righted the doubters, and for the first time you brought Tube commuters into spontaneous conversation about things other than their trodden-on toes."

4.25pmHe describes this as a "tear-sodden, juddering climax".

4.24pmAnne is spared the indignity of introducing Boris, who gets a massive cheer.

4.22pmShe's thanking various people. Meanwhile Boris is reading his notes.

4.21pmPrincess Anne gets her moment in the spotlight.

4.20pm"This is the great British summer that will be remembered in hundreds of years to come. We may be a country that may be small geographically but we have shown that we can do great things. Let that spirit carry on for generations to come."

4.19pm"You have given us moments that we will never forget. The whole country salutes your brilliance."

4.18pm"Thank you to the athletes. You have given us a golden..... summer," says Cameron.

4.17pmPrincess Anne, Boris and the PM are brought out onto stage. I realised I may have temporarily resurrected Princess Margaret earlier, my apologies.

4.15pmNo footage of Tom Daley dancing along to Pet Shop Boys, sadly. It was probably in his contract.

4.12pmSo far ParalympicsGB are definitely winning the dance off.

4.11pm"The next Olympics are going West to Brazil, so this is a song called 'Go West'," says Neil. AMAZING SEGUE.

4.10pmCorrection, there's a bit of wheelchair bopping down the front.

4.09pmThe bopping thusfar is mainly coming from the Gamesmakers.

4.07pm"This is a song inspired by London, it's called 'West End Girls'," says Mr Tennant. Let's see some bopping now, athletes!

4.05pmThe athletes are now streaming onto the stage and surrounding them.

4.04pmThey're performing their new single, 'Winner', which was apparently originally written for Eurovision.

4.03pmThree flags - the Union Jack, the TeamGB and the ParalympicsGB flags - are brought out, as are the Pet Shop Boys.

4.02pmAlex Gregory of TeamGB with a great shot of the arrows:

3.57pmHoy: "If you're going to end an Olympic career anywhere, this is the way to do it in front of a home crowd. I think I'm going to go two more years to the Commonwealth. A lot of it is down to my body and how it holds out. I know it's a bit greedy but to have a home Olympics and a home Commonwealth is a great way to end a career."

3.56pm"A sea of red, white and blue, I'm so proud to be a part of this," says Hoy. I assume he's talking about the flags and not what he saw up Helen's skirt.

3.55pmSarah Storey of ParalympicsGB and Chris Hoy of TeamGB come out. Meanwhile Helen Skelton's dress is blown upwards. "That's one way to welcome them," notes Shephard.

3.53pmTom Daley has tweeted a picture with the caption "A riding royal":

3.52pmAmy's song was a sexually suggestive one where she was offering to "hold your torch again".

3.51pmCome back Rihanna, all is forgiven

3.49pmAnd the star musical performer is..... Amy Macdonald!

3.46pmNow time for the show, which is introduced by Helen Skelton and Ben Shepherd.

3.45pmThe red arrows - three streams of red, three of white and three of blue - right across central London. Wow.

3.43pmIt's followed by the Puma, Lynx and Sea King helicopters. Huw Edwards is giving us a salvia-addled description of their capabilities.

3.40pmThe first part of the fly-past sees the golden BA plane fly overhead.

3.38pmWe're about seven minutes away from the Red Arrows' fly-past over the Palace. Meanwhile, the athletes are now disembarking from their floats for the final part of today's celebration.

3.32pmChris Hoy on Twitter: "What an experience!! A sea of people shouting and waving, red white & blue everywhere. Astonishing how many folk are out to see the parade!" Meanwhile, his wife has just been on the BBC claiming that she's going to make him do the ironing when he gets home. Yeah, you sort him out love. Lazy sod.

3.31pmThe TeamGB rowers hold up signs thanking the gamesmakers. Incidentally, "Gamesmaker" is my favourite new word of 2012. It sounds like something from the kids show Knightmare.

3.30pmAll 21 floats have now made their way through Admiralty Arch and are parking up, one by one, outside Buckingham Palace.

3.23pmJackson, Yorath Logan and Redgrave all have their backs to camera as they watch the floats come past.

3.22pmThe floats are now coming past an audience of dignitaries, which include David Cameron, big Boris and Princess Margaret.

3.20pmKath Grainger pays tribute to gold winner Andy Murray as he prepares to clinch the US Open title tonight. You can read our preview of that encounter here, by the way.

3.17pmBeth Tweddle: "A lot of people will remember me from 2002 Commonwealth, so it took me ten years to achieve that one last dream. 30 hours a week, it's took me a lot of pain and tears. But I can't remember all that, I just remember the good times and standing on the podium."

3.16pmLouis Smith: "To come back and relive the moment is fantastic. I've been everywhere - holiday, working, I've hardly seen my family. It's been manic."

3.14pmMeanwhile, Mo Farah is king of the worrrrrrrrrrld!

3.13pmJonnie Peacock is having a rest, bless.

3.12pmHuw Edwards is speculating that the procession is delayed by about half an hour. Most of the floats are now edging their way down the mall.

3.09pmEllie Simmonds is startled by a party popper from the crowd.

3.04pmWonder what Tom Daley's battery percentage is at this point.

3.01pmThe weather here in London is overcast and blustery. THERE HAS BEEN NO RAIN ON THE PARADE

2.54pmThe dancing lions at the front of the parade have now reached Trafalgar Square. What a throbbing throng!

2.50pmApparently the horses are "safely tucked up and on their way to Switzerland".

2.49pmInverdale is now on the equestrian float: "The only thing that's missing is the horses." Nick Skelton complains that his legs are getting tired and he hasn't got a seat (or a horse) to sit on.

2.45pmTom confirms that he's considering going to university. "I'm actually back to school to finish two more maths modules. So I'm going to finish that and then do a bit of research into university."

2.44pmInverdale confronts Tom about jumping into the pool after he won bronze: "It was not pre-meditated at all. We couldn't control ourselves. Everyone was just so happy to get the medal."

2.43pmTom Daley: "It is crazy, the amount of support that's there. Compared to the Beijing parade, this is a whole new level."

2.42pmOne of the athletes is eating a sandwich, I think it's from the M&S gourmet range

2.40pmAlistair confirms he's doing Glasgow 2014 for the triathlon and adds that he "might have a crack" at the 10,000m too.

2.38pmThe Brownlee brothers. Alastair: "I'm doing alright. On the surface my life hasn't changed very much, but I've been struggling to walk down the street without being stopped. It's quietened down lately though, apart from the obvious today." Jonny adds that they've "been getting a lot of free stuff".

2.37pmUpdate: The parade is heading past Gregg's near Aldwych

2.35pmVictoria Pendleton confirms that she is working hard in training for Strictly Come Dancing. Inverdale asks if she's finding it hard: "On the feet it is, but physically not so much."

2.34pmLaura Trott is asked if she's taken off her two gold medals: "Only when I was on holiday because I didn't want dodgy tan lines."

2.32pmHoy: "Four years ago, I thought we saw the greatest ever welcome. This tops it by a long shot. There are people hanging out of windows and off roofs, climbing lampposts..."

2.22pmRedgrave is recalling how London beat Paris to host the Games. "We had three photographers in front of us, and the Paris team had 50 photographers in front of them. We thought it was a done deal that Paris would win."

2.20pmMo Farah - never gets old:

2.18pmAnthony Joshua skilfully evades the question of turning pro: "My plan now is to get in the gym and be the best fighter I can be."

2.17pmFemale boxing champ Nicola Adams: "It's just starting to sink in now. It's an amazing achievement, not just for me but for Great Britain too. I've had lots of girls telling me on Twitter that it's inspired them to take up boxing."

2.13pmYoung boxer Luke Campbell: "It's a very proud moment, something I've worked for my whole life. I'm so proud to represent Great Britain. I feel honoured that I can make my family proud of me."

2.09pmA crazy 'gamesmaker' has mounted what appears to be a motorised version of an old people's stroller and is speeding along with the parade.

2.06pmFrom Greg Rutherford on Twitter:

2.04pmBen Ainslie: "It's awe-inspiring stuff. I'm blown away by the level of support. So many people are here, it's amazing." The noise from their PoV is deafening.

1.55pmThe floats are now edging towards St. Paul's cathedral.

1.54pmColin Jackson, the Blue Peter presenter that never was, informs Coe he looks "incredibly proud".

1.50pmLord Coe is chatting to the Gabbster. It's hard now to see him talking not in hyperbole and without starting every sentence with the word "Britain".

1.47pmChris Hoy brandishes his pair of golds gratuitously at the crowd.

1.45pmThere are four floats just for Athletics. Greg Rutherford is stalking one of them wearing a backpack.

1.42pmThe floats will be moving at a steady pace of 2 miles per hour.

1.41pmThe parade is now underway. It's led by trumpeters and a pair of red-and-blue dancing lions.

1.40pmExpect variations of that quote multiple times this afternoon.

1.39pmInverdale is chilling with "Mr. Mo". "This is unbelievable. To come here one last time and go around the streets of London is awesome. I'm just enjoying myself today."

1.38pmWhen the crowd clears, the pavements of the City will no doubt be littered with sushi and fro-yo packets. Over on Strand it will be McDonald's and WhistleStop own brand.

1.35pmThere is a huge crowd of overpaid people in suits cramming the City as the floats prepare to move. There's a false start for the rowing float as it jolts Kath Grainger forward. Oh how we laugh!

1.34pmThe float ordering system is revealed. It's alphabetical, so float one is athletics and archery.

1.32pmProviding commentary for the BBC feed are Huw Edwards and Hazel Irvine, and thankfully this time Trevor Nelson has been seamlessly switched for Tanni Grey-Thompson.

1.30pmYoung judo star Ashley McKenzie - last seen ogling Julie Goodyear in the Celebrity Big Brother house - is part of the parade today, although on Twitter he's branded it a "walk".

1.26pmThe BBC's coverage is about to get underway, with Gabby "don't call me Yorath" Logan hosting.

1.21pmJowell identifies one of the benefits of 'inspire a generation': "More people who are not overweight, more people who are healthy."

1.20pmOver on Sky, shadow culture secretary Tessa Jowell is talking about funding for grassroots and elite sports in the UK whilst wearing a hideous necklace.

1.16pmChannel 4 has been showing an extended Paralympics recap. It's way perkier than the BBC's delightfully creepy Olympics one.

1.15pmCarl Froch over on Twitter: "Only 3 days left to win an iPad2 courtesy of @oceanflorida Visit..." OH CARL.

1.14pmAlso Greg Rutherford, soon to be seen on BBC Three's F**k Off, I'm Ginger.

1.13pmMeanwhile, the athletes - all wearing the now-familiar GB tracky - have started clambering onto their floats. Spotted so far: Victoria Pendleton, Jess Ennis, Ellie Simmonds and Mo Farah.

1.12pmBREAKING NEWS: Boris has just arrived on his bike.

1.10pmI wonder what the process was for assigning athletes to floats. "Sorry Adlington, bronze only gets you float 18."

1.08pmThe media-shy Tom Daley on Twitter: "I am going to be on float number 8! Along with the equestrian team! Keep an eye out :P"

1.05pm25 minutes until wheels up now. Stats on this parade are thin on the ground so I'll just make some up. Did you know that 3 million gallons of fuel are being used to power the GB floats today?

1.02pmThere's one more chance for a bit of GB glory today once the parade floats have parked up, as Andy Murray hopes to secure his first Grand Slam title with a victory over defending champ Novak Djokovic at the US Open. You can follow live coverage of that here on SM tonight.

1.00pmIn all, GB picked up 65 medals (29G, 17S, 19B) in the Olympics and 120 medals (34G, 43S, 43B) in the Paras. That's up from 47 and 102 respectively in 2008 - although in the Beijing Paralympics, we had a more impressive 42 golds.

12.57pmChannel 4's coverage has already started, in the process answering perhaps the biggest question of the day: will Clare Balding be presenting for the BBC or Channel 4?

12.55pmFor those that are unable to squeeze themselves in front of a Pret on the Strand, there are three rival TV coverage options to choose from: BBC One, Channel 4 and Sky coverage (on Sky1).

12.52pm(His day job being a professional cyclist, not a courier.)

12.51pmSomewhere around 800 athletes will be perched atop 21 slow-moving floats. Around 90% of the medal winners will be present: one notable exception is Bradley Wiggins, who's currently cycling around Nottingham for his "day job".

12.49pmThe parade is due to get underway at around 1.30pm. The route is essentially a straight line from Mansion House in the City, past St. Paul's, down the Strand and finishing up outside the Queen's crib at around 4.


Greg Rutherford
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