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Gallery: Hundreds turn out to cheer East Lancashire's Olympic heroes
HUNDREDS of people lined the streets of Colne yesterday to welcome home Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Steven Burke.
Steven, part of the men’s team pursuit track cycling team who took gold in a world record time, took a tour of the town in an open top BMW, before being interviewed on the balcony of Colne Town Hall. Thunder, lightning and heavy rain threatened to disrupt the parade minutes before it was due to begin at 2pm.
But as Steven appeared with the gold medal around his neck, the storm passed and the rain abated for an hour.
Steven, 24, said: “I have been back in Colne for most of the time since the Olympics ended and it is great to be home and seeing friends and family. “We went to the Olympics as a team and for us it was gold or nothing, so to have achieved that and to be bringing the medal home is great. “It is a great chance to say thank you to everyone in my home town.”
The BMW parade was followed by around 40 cyclists from the Pendle Forest Cycling Club and youngsters from Cycle Sport Pendle. It was a day of Olympic celebrations in East Lancashire, as later in the day Ribble Valley welcomed home its medal winning heroes.
Silver medal Modern Pentathlete Sam Murray and bronze medalist Jon Schofield, from the kayak sprint event, were honoured at a civic reception at the town hall in Clitheroe in the evening. After the formalities the two stars then lead a torchlight procession through the town in front of hundreds of cheering and rain-soaked fans.
Sam, 22, from Clitheroe, who won her silver medal in the last event of the games, said: “I’ve been receiving a grant from the council since I was 12 so it is great to be back and thanking everyone for all their support. It is a dream really, it is what all sportsmen and women hope for.”
Jon, 27, from Sawley, said: “To be able to come back to your fairly small home town and show these medals off sends out a great message, that if people believe in themselves then they can achieve their dreams as well.”
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