Rio 2016: Manchester parade for Olympic and Paralympic stars
Great Britain”s Olympic and Paralympic stars will parade through Manchester later to celebrate their record-breaking performances at Rio 2016.
The procession, described by Prime Minister Theresa May as a “celebration fit for heroes”, will begin at the Museum of Science and Industry at 16:30 BST.
More than 150,000 people are expected to line the route of the parade.
London will have its own celebration on Tuesday in Trafalgar Square.
Team GB set an Olympic record in Rio 2016 by winning 67 medals – two more than they managed at London 2012.
The Paralympians also set a new record in Rio with 147 medals – 27 more than four years ago.
Manchester was chosen for the first parade to reflect the contribution made by athletes from across the UK, the government said.
Stars including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Dame Sarah Storey, Max Whitlock, Jade Jones and Nicola Adams will be among the athletes attending.
Team GB”s Women”s Hockey Team will also be there alongside Paralympians including Jonnie Peacock, Jody Cundy, Ellie Robinson, Ellie Simmonds and Richard Whitehead.
Singers Olly Murs and Rebecca Ferguson will perform live to the crowds in Albert Square, where the parade will end.
The city has become the hub for Team GB and Paralympics GB”s all-conquering cyclists and para-cyclists since the opening of Britain”s first indoor Olympic cycling track there in 1994.
Sue Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We couldn”t be more thrilled to host the national parade.”
She added: “The city has been a medal factory, pumping out golds as the home of British Cycling and British Taekwondo.”
Bill Sweeney, chief executive of the British Olympic Association, said: “The British public have a fantastic opportunity to meet their Rio heroes.”
Made in Manchester
Many of Team GB”s heroes and the Paralympic stars have lived and trained around Greater Manchester.
The procession, which is the city”s largest sporting celebration since Manchester United”s parade after their Champions” League, Premier League and FA Cup treble in 1999, takes in Deansgate, Huntsbank, Todd Street, Corporation Street, Exchange Square, Cross Street and finally Albert Square, where the finale, starting at 17:30, will also be broadcast on big screens within the city centre.
Several city centre roads will be closed but extra trams have been laid on.
More than 5,000 free parking spaces are being made available at locations around the city and in neighbouring towns.
Many of the athletes due to take part have been sharing their thoughts on Twitter.
Women”s hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh, bronze medal winner in the F32 club throw Stephen Miller, Ellie Simmonds who has won five Paralympic golds and Liam Heath gold winner in the individual 200m kayak sprint event at Rio, have all been sharing their excitement.
BBC One will broadcast coverage live from 16:15 until 18:30 with a 30 minute highlights show from 20:30