25 Aug 2012

Heroes’ return for Olympic rowers

Olympic medallists will parade through Henley-on-Thames in an open-top bus on Saturday in a homecoming parade, including members of the town’s elite Leander rowing club.

Members of Team GB's gold-winning men's four rowing team will be honoured (pic: Reuters)

A total of 21 Leander athletes took part in the rowing events as members of Team GB – Leander was the largest single club represented among the 48 rowing athletes.

All 21 athletes reached the finals and 12 of them won medals, raising the club’s total medal tally to 111 medals since 1908.

Founded in 1818, the club’s alumni includes Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell.

Last week, the Royal Mail painted a postbox gold in the town in recognition of the club’s medal-winning pedigree.

On Saturday, the rowers will do a victory “row-past” at 1045am, followed by a bus tour around the town at 11.50am.

It will be the third successive occasion that Leander and the town of Henley has hosted a post-Olympic celebration.

In 2008 the crowds lining the streets numbered many thousands and formed the largest gathering seen in Henley since the post-war celebrations.

Ten of the Leander Olympic medallists, including gold medallists Anna Watkins and Alex Gregory, will be travelling on the bus.