University of Bath celebrates its London 2012 heroes
12 September 2012
Bath residents turned out in force to pay tribute to the city’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic heroes as they toured the city in a celebratory open top bus parade on Wednesday morning.
Twenty athletes took part in the parade – 13 Olympians across seven different sports and seven Paralympians who competed in four sports at London 2012.
Bath city centre came to a standstill as residents turned out to cheer on the athletes, who train or have trained at the University of Bath or who come from the city.
The parade was organised by Bath and North East Somerset Council in partnership with the University.
Among the athletes was University of Bath Sports Performance student Michael Jamieson, who won swimming silver at the London Olympic Games and Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Millward, who won an impressive haul of five meals in the pool at the Games.
Jamieson, who trains at the University's Intensive Training Centre, said: “It’s great to see so many people who are so enthusiastic about sport come out today, it’s fantastic.
“A lot of the UK embraced the Olympic and Paralympic Games, hopefully it will raise participation levels in all sports across the board.”
Sprinter Ben Rushgrove, who added bronze in the T36 200m at the London Paralympic Games to the T36 100m silver he won in Beijing, also took part in the parade, along with members of the GB rhythmic gymnastics group, who trained at the University of Bath for a year ahead of the Olympic Games.
Ben Rushgrove, a University of Bath Sports Performance graduate, said: “2012 has been incredible. The Games have finished, but this is just the start of inspiring people.
“I’d like to thank everyone in Bath who has supported me. Behind every athlete is a great support team, and without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
The athletes were welcomed to the University of Bath Sports Training Village by Professor Bernie Morley, the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching), who presented each athlete with a commemorative pennant.
Professor Morley told the athletes: “It’s been an absolutely amazing summer of sport for this country. The University are delighted and proud to have played a small part in helping you achieve the tremendous successes that have filled our summer.
“Your achievements have lifted the spirits of the nation,” he added. ”As far as I’m concerned you are all winners. You are an inspiration to us all.”
Sports Training Village staff and other well-wishers then waved the athletes off as they departed on an open top bus tour that wound its way through the city’s historic streets.
Stephen Baddeley, Director of Sport at the University of Bath, said: “Today was a fantastic day. I’d like to thank Bath and North East Somerset Council for organising today’s event and also the many thousands of people who turned out to cheer on the athletes.
“I’d also like to congratulate the athletes on participating at the Games. We are proud to be associated with your outstanding achievements.”
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Thanks mate @NotThatAdamLong. Will catch up with you at the end of season night out. Big campaign for us both next year!