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London celebrates GB’s Rio 2016 athletes

Max Whitlock performs acrobatics on stage at Trafalgar SquareImage copyright
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Gymnast Max Whitlock performed acrobatics for the crowd on the Trafalgar Square stage

Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic stars are being honoured with a celebration in London’s Trafalgar Square.

It follows the victory parade in Manchester on Monday when thousands of supporters lined the streets to cheer on the victorious teams.

Team GB won 67 medals in Rio, two more than they gained at London 2012, while the Paralympians won 147 medals – 27 more than four years ago.

About 6,000 people are expected at the “Heroes Return” event in London.

Follow the celebrations live here

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Boxer Nicola Adams took photos of the crowds from the stage

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About 6,000 people are expected at the event

Several of the athletes addressed the crowd from the stage, paying tribute to the support they have received.

Paralympian Richard Whitehead MBE said the event was “amazing” and called London “a special place for sport”.

Swimmer Adam Peaty, who won Team GB’s first gold medal and broke his own world record at Rio, said seeing all number of spectators in Trafalgar Square “means so much to me”.

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Team GB won 27 gold medals at Rio 2016 while Paralympic GB team won 147 medals

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Many Union Jacks were being flown beneath Nelson’s Column

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Diver Tom Daley appeared to be trying to befriend pigeons that landed on the stage

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the athletes “have inspired millions of people”.

“I feel privileged and humbled to be here as a fan”, he said.

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Guardsmen entertained the crowd before the athletes arrived

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Many spectators held up messages of support for the athletes

Many of the athletes travelled down from the parade in Manchester to attend, along with others – such as Tom Daley, swimming star Peaty and cyclist Jody Cundy – who were unable to take part on Monday.

Later, the medallists will head to Buckingham Palace for a reception with the Queen and other members of the Royal family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

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Manchester was chosen for the first parade to reflect the contribution made by athletes from across the UK

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-37679019