Boris gives his trademark thumbs-up and poses for selfies during Paralympics homecoming at Wembley

Boris Johnson gave his trademark thumbs-up and posed for photos with superstar cyclist Dame Sarah Storey, fencer Piers Gilliver and swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton at a Paralympics homecoming after Britain came second at the Tokyo Games.  

The Prime Minister posed for selfies, shook hands with the Team GB athletes and even made some of them chuckle during a meet-and-greet at Wembley Arena this afternoon ahead of a mega-concert to celebrate their astonishing successes.

Artists performing at the National Lottery event include Madness, Clean Bandit, Sigma, Birdy, Jamie Cullum, James Arthur, Jay Prince, Evelyn Glennie, Ella Henderson and Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

The Paralympics came to an end last Sunday in a colourful ceremony at the National Stadium overseen by Japan’s  Crown Prince Akishino, the brother of Emperor Naruhito. Team GB came second behind China, taking home 41 gold, 38 silver and 45 bronze medals.

The Olympics, which preceded the Paralympics’ 13-day run, closed almost a month ago. 

Boris Johnson poses with paralympians at the National Lottery's ParalympicsGB Homecoming at SSE Arena Wembley

Boris Johnson poses with paralympians at the National Lottery's ParalympicsGB Homecoming at SSE Arena Wembley

Boris Johnson poses with paralympians at the National Lottery’s ParalympicsGB Homecoming at SSE Arena Wembley

The Prime Minister gave his trademark thumbs-up pose, shook hands with the sports stars and also made them chuckle at the meet-and-greet at Wembley Arena this afternoon

The Prime Minister gave his trademark thumbs-up pose, shook hands with the sports stars and also made them chuckle at the meet-and-greet at Wembley Arena this afternoon

The Prime Minister gave his trademark thumbs-up pose, shook hands with the sports stars and also made them chuckle at the meet-and-greet at Wembley Arena this afternoon

Mr Johnson speaks to cyclist Dame Sarah Storey at the National Lottery's ParalympicsGB Homecoming

Mr Johnson speaks to cyclist Dame Sarah Storey at the National Lottery's ParalympicsGB Homecoming

Mr Johnson speaks to cyclist Dame Sarah Storey at the National Lottery’s ParalympicsGB Homecoming

The Prime Minister shook hands with Paralympic athletes at a homecoming event celebrating their successes

The Prime Minister shook hands with Paralympic athletes at a homecoming event celebrating their successes

The Prime Minister shook hands with Paralympic athletes at a homecoming event celebrating their successes

Mr Johnson posed for selfies with Paralympians at a homecoming event at Wembley Arena this afternoon

Mr Johnson posed for selfies with Paralympians at a homecoming event at Wembley Arena this afternoon

Mr Johnson posed for selfies with Paralympians at a homecoming event at Wembley Arena this afternoon

Mr Johnson posed for selfies with Paralympians including swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton at a homecoming event

Mr Johnson posed for selfies with Paralympians including swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton at a homecoming event

Mr Johnson posed for selfies with Paralympians including swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton at a homecoming event

Artists performing at the National Lottery event include Madness, Clean Bandit, Sigma, Birdy, Jamie Cullum, James Arthur, Jay Prince, Evelyn Glennie, Ella Henderson and Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Artists performing at the National Lottery event include Madness, Clean Bandit, Sigma, Birdy, Jamie Cullum, James Arthur, Jay Prince, Evelyn Glennie, Ella Henderson and Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Artists performing at the National Lottery event include Madness, Clean Bandit, Sigma, Birdy, Jamie Cullum, James Arthur, Jay Prince, Evelyn Glennie, Ella Henderson and Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Mr Johnson posed for selfies with Paralympians at a homecoming event at Wembley Arena this afternoon

Mr Johnson posed for selfies with Paralympians at a homecoming event at Wembley Arena this afternoon

Mr Johnson posed for selfies with Paralympians at a homecoming event at Wembley Arena this afternoon

Paying tribute to the athletes, the Queen said: ‘I offer my warm congratulations to Paralympic athletes from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and indeed to the athletes of all Commonwealth countries, on their enormous success at the Tokyo Games.

‘The commitment, dedication and adaptability shown by you, and your support teams, during the exceptional circumstances of the last 18 months has been inspirational.

‘Your performances have lifted the nation and your triumphs been celebrated by us all. I send my very best wishes to all those who have contributed to the success of these memorable Games.’

Boccia champion David Smith led the handful of British athletes still in Tokyo last Sunday for the closing ceremony.

Sprinter Thomas Young, cyclist Benjamin Watson and swimmers Maisie Summers-Newton and Reece Dunn were among the emerging talent to burst on to the scene to take gold, with 56 British debutants claiming medals. 

The games have been like none other after they were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. No fans were permitted to attend the games, save for a few thousands at outlying venues away from Tokyo.

Only a few thousand school children were allowed in to some Paralympic venues.

Artists performing at the National Lottery event include Madness, Clean Bandit, Sigma, Birdy, Jamie Cullum, James Arthur, Jay Prince, Evelyn Glennie, Ella Henderson and Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Artists performing at the National Lottery event include Madness, Clean Bandit, Sigma, Birdy, Jamie Cullum, James Arthur, Jay Prince, Evelyn Glennie, Ella Henderson and Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Artists performing at the National Lottery event include Madness, Clean Bandit, Sigma, Birdy, Jamie Cullum, James Arthur, Jay Prince, Evelyn Glennie, Ella Henderson and Sheku Kanneh-Mason

The Prime Minister poses for a photo with superstar cyclist Dame Sarah Storey at Wembley Arena

The Prime Minister poses for a photo with superstar cyclist Dame Sarah Storey at Wembley Arena

The Prime Minister poses for a photo with superstar cyclist Dame Sarah Storey at Wembley Arena

The Prime Minister gave his trademark thumbs-up pose, shook hands with the sports stars and also made them chuckle at the meet-and-greet at Wembley Arena this afternoon ahead of a mega-concert to celebrate Britain's astonishing success at the Games

The Prime Minister gave his trademark thumbs-up pose, shook hands with the sports stars and also made them chuckle at the meet-and-greet at Wembley Arena this afternoon ahead of a mega-concert to celebrate Britain's astonishing success at the Games

The Prime Minister gave his trademark thumbs-up pose, shook hands with the sports stars and also made them chuckle at the meet-and-greet at Wembley Arena this afternoon ahead of a mega-concert to celebrate Britain’s astonishing success at the Games

The Prime Minister attends the National Lottery's ParalympicsGB Homecoming at SSE Arena Wembley

The Prime Minister attends the National Lottery's ParalympicsGB Homecoming at SSE Arena Wembley

The Prime Minister attends the National Lottery’s ParalympicsGB Homecoming at SSE Arena Wembley

Athletes were frequently tested for the virus and kept in a social bubble, which kept the virus largely at bay, though cases surged among the Japanese population, which is now almost 50 per cent vaccinated.

‘There were many times when we thought these games could not happen,’ Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said on Sunday. ‘There were many sleepless nights.’

Seiko Hashimoto, the President of the Tokyo Organising Committee added: ‘I believe that we have reached the end of games without any major problems.’

A record number of athletes – 4,405 – took part in the games, include two from Afghanistan who arrived in the capital several days late after fleeing Kabul.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Olympic historian David Wallechinsky said: ‘The Tokyo Games were a model of efficiency and friendliness.

‘If it hadn’t been for the Covid-related difficulties, these would be right at or near the top of the best-organized of the 19 Olympics – Summer and Winter – I have attended.’

Link hienalouca.com

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