Olympians afforded fond farewell as they wave goodbye to London
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
August 15 - As the curtain fell on the London 2012 Olympics, hundreds of fans turned out at Britain's major airports and rail stations to wave goodbye to the heroes and heroines of the Games as they prepared to head home.
One such location was London's St Pancras International rail station from where the French, Dutch and Belgian athletes (pictured top) were ferried to their home countries via specially chartered services laid on by Eurostar, the Official International Rail Services Provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Among the notable athletes were Dutch gold medallist Marianne Vos, who won the women's cycling road race, and France's Camille Muffat, who clinched victory in the women's 400 metres freestyle swimming along with a silver and bronze medal.
Continuing the carnival atmosphere from the spectacular Closing Ceremony, the departing athletes were greeted on the St Pancras platform by Beatles tribute band The Beatlez, who sang, appropriately, Hello, Goodbye and other Beatles hits, and members of the Royal College of Music brass band.
To provide a fitting end to their time in London, the country's medal winners were presented with bouquets of flowers as they boarded their trains.
Mary Walsh, Eurostar director of communications, said: "St Pancras has been awash with sports fans and athletes throughout the Games and it has been a tremendously exciting place to be."
Eurostar is also a partner of both the French and Belgian National Paralympic Committees, and will shuttle the country's athletes to and from London on specially adapted trains for the Paralympic Games, which start on August 29.
June 2012: Eurostar becomes official carrier of Belgian and French Paralympic teams for London 2012
April 2012: Eurostar to celebrate London 2012 talent with European music festival
December 2011: Olympic Rings unveiled on Channel Tunnel entrance to mark 20/12 day
September 2011: Eurostar appoints Havas to help with London 2012 sponsorship
May 2010: Eurostar latest London 2012 sponsor