Olympic champions lead athletes parade in London

Mo Farah does the 'Mobot' as he takes part in a parade through London
Mo Farah does the 'Mobot' as he takes part in a parade through London Photo: Press Association .

Olympic champions Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Sir Chris Hoy were among 700 British athletes who took part in a victory parade in London today to mark their achievements at both the Olympics and Paralympics.

TeamGB cyclist Jason Kenny enjoys the London crowds.
TeamGB cyclist Jason Kenny enjoys the London crowds. Credit: Twitter/@Ed_Clancy

Thousands lined the streets to catch a glimpse of British Olympians and Paralympians, as they travelled through the capital on buses to celebrate the medal hauls of both teams.

Team GB finished third in the medal table with 29 golds, 17 silvers and 19 bronzes.

The Paralympic team also finished third with 120 medals, surpassing a pre-Games target of 103 medals.

ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott reports on Britain's tribute to its Olympic and Paralympic athletes:

The Greatest Team Parade saw athletes travel on 21 open-top floats, grouped in alphabetical order by their sport. The stars of the Olympics' "Super Saturday" were on the first three floats.

ITV News Special Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports on the athletes' view of the parade.

Mo Farah, Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m winner, was on the first float, followed by heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Ennis on the second and long jump champion Greg Rutherford on the third.

Thousands have lined the streets of London for the parade.
Thousands have lined the streets of London for the parade. Credit: ITN Pool

Team GB's cycling stars Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Laura Trott and Victoria Pendleton travelled on float seven.

Heptathlete Jessica Ennis takes part in a parade passed the Royal Courts of Justice, London.
Heptathlete Jessica Ennis takes part in a parade passed the Royal Courts of Justice, London. Credit: Press Association

Before boarding, Sir Chris told ITV News that the parade was a chance for the athletes to say thank you to fans who "made the difference" at the home Games to drive the spectacular success:

The velodrome stars were followed by double equestrian gold-medal winner Charlotte Dujardin, rowing champion Katherine Grainger, Ben Ainslie, Britain's most successful Olympic sailor, and triathlon gold medallist Alistair Brownlee.

Paralympians Hannah Cockcroft, Jody Cundy, Sophie Christiansen and Jonnie Peacock also took part in the parade.

A member of the crowd holds up a sign as a parade celebrating Britain's Olympic and Paralympic sporting heroes makes its way through London.
A member of the crowd holds up a sign as a parade celebrating Britain's Olympic and Paralympic sporting heroes makes its way through London. Credit: Press Association.

As the buses arrived at Admiralty Arch they were met by groups who had made "an invaluable contribution to the Games and the success of our athletes", according to the Greater London Authority.

The crowd in Trafalgar Square cheer on the athletes.
The crowd in Trafalgar Square cheer on the athletes. Credit: Press Association

This included 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 and schoolchildren from every London borough.

Diver Tom Daley films the crowd.
Diver Tom Daley films the crowd. Credit: Press Association

The floats were saluted by guards as they passed the Queen Victoria Memorial, which had a giant banner with the words "Our Greatest Team Parade" in front of it.

The Red Arrows perform a flypast over Buckingham Palace
The Red Arrows perform a flypast over Buckingham Palace Credit: Peter Macdiarmid /PA Wire

As the athletes reached Buckingham Palace, a spectacular flypast roared over their heads. Four RAF helicopters were led by the British Airways jet which was used to bring the Olympic Flame to the UK at the start of the Games.

The flame-coloured Firefly A319 displayed a special "thank you" message on its underbelly.

Three other RAF aircraft were then followed by the Red Arrows, who left a trail of red, white and blue smoke in their wake.

The aircraft had been given special permission to fly over The Mall after first flying over the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.

Katherine Jenkins singing the national anthem
Katherine Jenkins singing the national anthem Credit: Stephen Pond/PA Wire

There was also musical performances from Amy MacDonald, The Pet Shop Boys and the Noisettes, as well as Katherine Jenkins, who performed the national anthem.

The Prime Minister David Cameron, Princess Anne and London Mayor Boris Johnson also addressed the crowds.