Sunderland honours its Olympic and Paralympic heroes
Sunderland paid tribute to its Olympic and Paralympic heroes with special medal presentation.
Mayor of Sunderland Coun Alan Emerson presented specially commissioned medals on behalf of the city to those who could make it, while those not able to attend will be sent their medals at home.
Long distance runner Alyson Dixon, yachtsman John Robertson and swimmers Josef Craig and Matt Wylie were honoured at the ceremony in the Mayor’s Parlour at Sunderland Civic Centre.
For John, it was the perfect finish to his Paralympic year.
“It is fantastic to come here and be recognised by the city that I have grown up in,” he said.
“It is nice to be in invited here by the Mayor and it’s a great way to round off 2016.”
Alyson was moved to be formally honoured by her home city.
“A lot of people stop you on the street or talk to you on social media but to get recognition like this is wonderful,” she said.
“I always shout about Sunderland from the rooftops.
“When I’m away, there is always someone who says ‘Are you from Newcastle?’ and I have to put them right straight away.
“Coming home to Sunderland is always the best part of any training camp.”
Coun Emerson, said: “Our athletes’ enjoyed unprecedented success at Rio 2016 and it is only right we recognise their massive contribution to local, national and international sport.
“They represented our city, region and country with such distinction, and this is our way of thanking them and commemorating their achievements.”