Britain says goodbye to Games with victory parade


Britain was bidding a fond farewell Monday to a golden summer of Olympic and Paralympic sport with a victory parade by athletes through London ending up at Buckingham Palace.
Tens of thousands of people were expected to line the streets through the centre of the capital, including the army of volunteers who worked on the Games, to cheer on Britain’s medal-winning heroes.
Sunday night’s Paralympics closing ceremony extinguished the flame in the Olympic Stadium, bringing the curtain down with a spectacular celebration of the human spirit, amid claims the Games had led to a “seismic” shift in attitudes towards disability.
Coldplay, Rihanna and Jay-Z headlined a three-hour “Festival of the Flame” in front of 80,000 spectators, complete with flame-throwers, fantastical vehicles and stunning aerial acrobatics.
Prime Minister David Cameron, surrounded by volunteers in their purple and orange shirts, said Monday it had been a golden summer for Britain, with the Games following celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee.
“For countries to succeed in this competitive and difficult world, you need to have confidence that you can do big things and get them right… that you can take on the best, be the best, beat the best,” Cameron said. “We’ve absolutely done that as a country. “Once the celebration has ended, some of that spirit inevitably will fade as everyone knuckes down and gets back to work after this magical summer. “But I think we’ll always have that knowledge of what we can be as a country. “This summer brought out the best in Britain for the world to see and that spirit we must cling to.” The parade was to begin at Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London, before passing St Paul’s Cathedral, the former newspaper industry headquarters Fleet Street, and Trafalgar Square.