2016's Olympics and Paralympics were staggering success stories for British sport. Incredibly, Team GB finished second in the overall medals table, having previously finished third in 2012....and that was for both the Olympics and Paralympics. Once again, the nation was gripped by a fervour as we all followed these men and women; young and not so young (and everything in between); black and white (and everything else); gay and straight (and others no doubt); and non-secular and secular athletes through the culmination of their 4-year journeys to Rio.
There were too many highlights to mention. Blimey, Sports Personality is going to be a particularly tough one this year*.
Some of the athletes took a stroll through Manchester city centre and I happened to be there to capture the action from the public perspective.
From a photography point of view, I had my Nikon D750 with me, which is very light and perfect for keeping on your toes. Lens-wise, if I owned an all rounder zoom I would have taken one (the 18mm - 300mm would have been perfect) but I don't currently so I was stuck with compromising a little on the quality and ease by taking two lenses: one wide zoom (24mm - 70mm) plus a long lens zoom (70mm - 300mm). Of course, this ended up being rather faffy when swapping, and of course this being Manchester, it also rained. Well, lashed it down would be more apt but I had taken precaution, an eBay special rain repeller for long lenses and also employed special high-tech water resistance techniques to protect the lens not being used at any given time (wrap it in a bag in a bag in a bag).
And of course, I had my wedding voice on (loud and authoritative), to try to attract the glances of a few athletes, which worked I think.
The parade culminated in Albert Square where the Kaiser Chiefs performed in a heavy downpour (brilliantly atmospheric is one phrase I would use to describe this! More sensible people might use others), followed by the trio of Mark Chapman, Helen Skelton and JJ Chalmers bringing on the athletes in groups and speaking to them.
Gold medal performance from all involved. Enjoy the photos...
*though if we were to go purely on personality, I'd go with Lutalo Muhammad