Mansfield welcomes home Olympic and Paralympic heroes
Mansfield’s Market Place was showered with red, white and blue confetti on Tuesday evening as thousands gathered to welcome home the town’s Olympians and Paralympians.
More than two thousand people attended the two-hour event as athletes Rebecca Adlington, Ollie Hynd, Sam Hynd, Charlotte Henshaw and Chris Adcock took to the stage again, but this time to a home audience.
Watch Chris Adcock interviewed in front of the Mansfield crowd
Executive Mayor Tony Egginton told the crowd: “Our emotions could be measured this evening in the same number of buckets of pride in 2008; there is no judgement, just pride.
“As in life these great experiences help is to develop and mature. We can now look forward to more success on the road to Rio in four years’ time.
“Now as we stand on a new horizon, the euphoria has been palpable within our community family today and now is a chance to say thank you to all of our Olympians and Paralympians and thank you Mansfield for sharing this moment with us.”
Golden girl Rebecca told the crowd: “I just wanted to do my best.
"It's so nice to be here. These guys have supported me since I was twelve or thirteen. I wouldn't be stood here if it wasn't for these guys."
Dance duo Twist and Pulse took to the stage from 6pm when the five Olympians and Paralympians were interviewed individually by Radio DJ Stuart Nicholson from Mansfield 103.2.
Later by The Executive Mayor Tony Egginton gave a brief speech and handed flowers to all the athletes before autographs were given to queuing fans.
Olympic-themed activities helped to keep the crowds entertained and 1,000 flags were given out.
There was also a Sports Village on Westgate from 4pm-5.30pm, where people who had been inspired by this summer's Games found out more about local clubs and how to get involved.
Some of the sports clubs attended included:
• North Notts Hockey Club
• Mansfield Maulers Wheelchair Basketball Club
• Mansfield Giants Basketball Club
• Mansfield Harriers and Athletics Club
• Sherwood Swimming Club
• Mansfield Swimming Club
• Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club
• Serco Leisure - for information about activities and membership at the District's five leisure centres.
In the run-up to the event, there was face painting from 3pm, stilt walkers from 4pm in and around the Market Place.
Mansfield’s Olympic swimmer, Rebecca Adlington took her first bronze in the London Aquatic Centre in the Women’s 400m Freestyle and then took her second in the 800m Freestyle.
Ollie Hynd, who swims with the Mansfield Nova Squad, brings back the full collection of medals from the Paralympics – gold, silver and bronze. Ollie won gold in the SM8 200m individual Medley, silver in the S8 Men’s 400m Freestyle and bronze in the S8 100m Backstroke.
Fellow Mansfield Nova Paralympic swimmer, Charlotte won silver in the SB6 100m Breaststroke and was just three hundredths of a second from taking gold, which was won by Ukrainian's Viktoriia Savtsova.
Sam Hynd, whose swimming roots are in Mansfield but now trains in Swansea while at university, scooped his bronze in the S8 400m Freestyle.
Team GB Olympic badminton player, Chris Adcock, who played for Mansfield Badminton Club from the age of eight through his junior career and has been supported by the Armchair Club for as long as he can remember, represented GB as part of the mixed doubles. Chris and his partner Imogen Bankier won the first set in both their first rounds, but lost to German pair Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels.