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  1. ITV Report

Yorkshire welcomes home Rio 2016 heroes

Thousands of people lined the streets to welcome home Yorkshire's athletes Credit: ITV News

The samba spirit of Rio 2016 came to Leeds today - as thousands lined the streets to welcome home Yorkshire's Olympians and Paralympians .

Athletes were greeted by "absolutely epic" crowds as they were cheered round the streets of Leeds on a fleet of open-top buses.

Bryony Page and Nile Wilson show off their medals Credit: ITV News

It needed six buses to transport the Yorkshire-based athletes around the city centre, with those aboard including the triathlon gold medallist brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, two-sport paralympic double gold medallist Kadeena Cox and diving champion Jack Laugher.

Gold medal-winning rower Andy Triggs Hodge waved to the thousands who lined the route around the city centre and said:

"This is incredible. It's been while since I've been in downtown Leeds but if it was always like this it would be fantastic.

"Look at this - the sunset, the crowd, the energy, the vibrancy. It's like a festival. It is absolutely epic."

– Andy Triggs Hodge

Bronze medallist gymnast Nile Wilson kicked off the festivities with a demonstration of his skills on the front of double-decker number five.

All the athletes said they were amazed by the turn-out.

Jack Laugher on board the homecoming bus Credit: ITV News

"The amount of support I've had in Ripon, in Leeds, in Yorkshire and throughout Great Britain has just been sublime. It's been phenomenal.

I'm so glad the people of Britain got behind the Olympics."

– Jack Laugher

The diver, who won gold in Rio in the 3m springboard synchro with Chris Mears, explained how he shut off all social media while he was competing and was astonished when he realised the reaction when he got back home.

"I didn't see the amount of support until I turned Facebook back on and I was back on Twitter. Then I thought 'my god' - 8.1 million people watched me and Chris, which is unbelievable."

– Jack Laugher

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