Britain says goodbye to Games with victory parade
LONDON (AFP) - Huge crowds cheered Britain's Olympic and Paraylmpic athletes during a victory parade to Buckingham Palace Monday amid hopes that the golden sporting summer will give the country a long-term boost.
Hundreds of thousands of people packed the streets of central London to show their appreciation for the athletes, who both surpassed expectations by finishing third in the medals table in both events.
Meanwhile leaders hoped the feel-good factor and can-do spirit of the Games would stave off the pessimism of recent times and help drag debt-laden Britain out of recession and into a new era of self-confidence.
London 2012 faced plenty of predictions that the Games would be a badly-organised flop, with concerns about the £9.3 billion (S$18.3 billion, 11.6 billion euro) cost, security and transport capacity.