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City parade for our Olympic heroes today

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 19, 2012

Diver Tom Daley

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Authorities are hoping thousands of people will show how proud they are of the Westcountry's Olympians, Paralympians and Games Makers today at a grand homecoming parade in the city of Plymouth.

After an amazing sporting summer which gave the country so many breath-taking moments, the parade through the city will be the last chance to celebrate and honour the achievements of those from the region who took part – and those who helped make the London 2012 Games happen.

Diving star Tom Daley, who is from Plymouth and who won an emotional bronze medal in the 10-metre individual men's platform event, and 15-year-old Lithuanian swimmer Ruta Meilutyte, who came to the city to study and went on to sensationally race to gold in the 100-metre women's breaststroke, will be among athletes taking part in the event.

Others confirmed include divers Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow, swimmers Antony James, Jamila Lunkuse and Jade Howard, fencer Corinna Lawrence, synchronised swimmer Olivia Federici, wheelchair basketball player Judith Hamer and Paralympic table tennis star David Wetherill.

Tom's diving coach Andy Banks and Ruta's swimming coach Jon Rudd will also be taking part.

Other dignitaries gearing up for the event include Lithuanian ambassador Dr Oskaras Jusys and Plymouth College headmaster Dr Simon Wormleighton.

Plymouth City Council's deputy leader Peter Smith said: "Our Olympians, Paralympians and Games Makers have done a fantastic job and this is Plymouth's chance to say 'we are so proud of you'."

Organisers say they are hoping to see an estimated crowd of between 15,000 and 20,000 people this evening.

The event, which sets off with a parade from Plymouth College at 5.15pm, will culminate in athletes taking to the stage outside the Guildhall, with interviews being relayed to the Big Screen at Armada Way's Piazza at about 5.45pm.

Estimated times for homecoming parade

5.15pm: Open top bus leaves Plymouth College in Mutley and heads to city centre, via Peverell Park Road, Outland Road, the Plymouth Life Centre, Alma Road, Pennycomequick Roundabout, North Cross Roundabout, Cobourg Street, Charles Street, Charles Cross Roundabout and Exeter Street viaduct (above Bretonside).

5.45pm: Bus arrives at the top of Royal Parade, where it will be joined by London 2012 Games Makers from Plymouth. The Games Makers will walk behind the bus as it travels down the Civic Centre side of Royal Parade. The bus will then turn left at Derry's Cross and head along Princess Way and Princess Street towards Plymouth Guildhall.

6pm: Bus arrives on Armada Way, outside the Plymouth Guildhall.

6.20pm: Athletes and selected Games Makers welcomed on to stage in Guildhall Square by Lord Mayor of Plymouth, before being interviewed live.

7pm: Civic Reception in Council House, hosted by Lord Mayor

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