Wales’ Commonwealth champions were given a hero’s welcome at the Senedd during a special homecoming event, honouring and celebrating their successes at this year’s Commonwealth games.
Medal-winning athletes such as gold medallist Olivia Breen, and the oldest Commonwealth Games medallist of all time, Gordon Llewellyn, came out to a roar of cheers from the crowds celebrating in the August sunshine.
To commemorate their performances over the summer, Team Wales’ athletes and coaches were each presented with specially commissioned medals produced by the Royal Mint.
Speaking at the celebration, Aled Sion Davies, gold medal winner in the discus, said:
“After 2014, I didn’t think I’d get the chance to represent Wales again and it’s something that’s so close to my heart. It’s special putting on the Welsh jersey and we’re a nation that’s very proud of our heritage.
“As athletes, when we represent Team GB, the Welsh contingent is always very strong and that’s why I love the Commonwealth Games as it gives us a chance to represent and win medals for Wales.”
The Deputy Llywydd of the Senedd, David Rees MS and the First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS both extended their congratulations to Team Wales, and expressed their deep pride for the successes of Team Wales in Birmingham this year.
Entertainment was provided by a four-piece jazz band from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and the proceedings ended on a high note with a rendition of Hen Wlad fy Nhadau by musical theatre group, Welsh of the West End.
David Rees MS, the Deputy Llywydd of the Senedd, said:
“This was an amazing evening, it was great to see so many people come out to the Senedd to celebrate our triumphant Team Wales, who have once again, made our nation incredibly proud to be Welsh.
“Without a doubt, the sporting prowess, passion and perseverance shown by Team Wales has been nothing short of inspirational, with unforgettable sporting moments over the summer from one of our most diverse and gender balanced teams ever.
“They are sure to inspire the next generation of Welsh sporting greats and have proved that Wales is a nation of champions able to produce sportsmen and women who can rise to the occasion and perform on the world stage.”
Mark Drakeford MS, the First Minister of Wales, said:
“It was wonderful to be at the Senedd to celebrate and show our gratitude to Team Wales for their achievements at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
“Diolch yn fawr to all our amazing athletes for representing our nation on the global sporting stage.
“We are a small nation that punches well above its weight in the sporting arena and we are all immensely proud of Team Wales’ amazing achievements at the games.”