Manchester welcomes Rio Olympic Heroes

ROWER Grainger has won five medals, including a gold in Brazil and was overwhelmed by the support that the awed British public has given her.

On Monday, in the centre of Manchester, Britain’s stars from Rio were given a heroes’ welcome.

Rower Grainger is Team GB’s most decorated athlete having won five medals – including silver in Brazil.

The 350 Olympic and Paralympic stars of track, pool and boxing ring were part of a parade through Manchester yesterday that was met by 150,000 cheering fans.

Grainger, 40, from Glasgow but now living in Maidenhead, last week said she had been “overwhelmed” by the support she has received since returning home from Rio.

Katherine is interviewed by BBC’s Mark Chapman on stage outside the Manchester Town Hall. (Photo: PA Wire)

The celebration is the first of back-to-back “heroes parades” to toast Great Britain’s success in Rio, with the second celebration being held in London on Tuesday.

Both British squads finished second in their respective medal tables at this summer’s Games.

Prime Minister Theresa May has congratulated Team GB and ParalympicsGB on “one of the greatest sporting achievements in our history”.

Ms May told the stars of Rio 2016 that they were “an inspiration to us all” recounting how both teams finished second in the medals’ tables.

The MP for Maidenhead recounted how “time after time the nation came to a halt, as you wrote your names into the history books” and also praised those behind the scenes who helped to make the athletes’ successes reality.

Ms May added that it was right a celebration was held in Manchester where “so many of the medals were made”, adding “this has been a homecoming for heroes, because that is what you are”.

The Prime Minister added that the legacy of the Games would encourage people into sports and see disabilities differently.

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