Mansfield folk welcome back heroes

Mansfield Olympic Homecoming
Mansfield Olympic Homecoming

MANSFIELD came to standstill tonight (Tuesday) as thousands turned out to give our medal-winning athletes a homecoming heroes’ welcome.

Following yesterday’s London parade, it was Mansfield’s turn to salute their own superstars.

People lined Market Place to grab a glimpse of double bronze-medal winning swim star, Becky Adlington, Paralympic pool stars Charlotte Henshaw and Ollie Hynd, and Olympic badminton team member Chris Adcock.

Becky Adlington, thanked the town’s residents for their ongoing support.

“When I was 12 or 13 I used to have articles in the Chad which my Dad would cut out and keep - everyone who lives in the area and reads the Chad has followed me way before Beijing happened,” she said.

“Mansfield will always be my home and somewhere I am very proud to be from.”

Kirkby’s Paralympics swimming sensation Ollie Hynd won gold, silver and bronze medals says it was one of the most amazing experiences of his life.

“I’m pretty tired and sad that it’s all over but it was amazing to be there - the wall of sound in the Aquatics Centre just hits you and the crowd lifted me the whole time,” he said.

“It’s nice to be back home, I’ve got a lot of support up here which is really nice.”

Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton payed tribute to the town’s athletes with a speech as the event came to a close.

“The pressure on an athlete is never greater than when defending medals,” said Mr Egginton. But he looked to the future and hoped for success in Rio in 2016.

He also thanked the people of Mansfield for sharing in the town’s pride and congratulating the athletes.

Compton Powell, of Berry Hill, said: “I think it is brilliant to have these heroes here from Mansfield - it makes you so proud of your city.

“All of the athletes have done fantastic and I hope we produce some more from Mansfield.”