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

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Boris Johnson held out his signature thumbs up and posed for photos with superstar cyclist Dame Sarah Storey, fencer Piers Gilliver and swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton during a Paralympic homecoming after Britain finished second at the Tokyo Games.

The Prime Minister posed for selfies, shook hands with Team GB’s 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 astounding 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 Paralympic Games came to an end last Sunday in a colorful ceremony at the National Stadium overseen by Japan’s Crown Prince Akishino, Emperor Naruhito’s brother. Team GB came second behind China, taking home 41 gold, 38 silver and 45 bronze medals.

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

Boris Johnson poses with Paralympics at the National Lottery’s Paralympics GB Homecoming at SSE Arena Wembley

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

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

Mr Johnson speaks with cyclist Dame Sarah Storey during the National Lottery's ParalympicsGB Homecoming

Mr Johnson speaks with cyclist Dame Sarah Storey during the National Lottery’s ParalympicsGB Homecoming

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

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

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

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

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

Johnson posed for selfies with Paralympics 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

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

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

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

“The commitment, dedication and adaptability that you and your support teams have shown during the exceptional circumstances of the past 18 months have been inspiring.

“Your performances have lifted the nation and your triumphs have been celebrated by all of us. I send my best wishes to everyone who has contributed to the success of these momentous Games.”

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

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

The games have been like no other after being postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fans were not allowed to attend the games except for a few thousand in remote locations outside of Tokyo.

Only a few thousand schoolchildren were admitted to some Paralympic stages.

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

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

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

The Prime Minister gave his signature thumbs up, shook hands with the sports stars and also made them chuckle during 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 signature thumbs up, shook hands with the sports stars and also made them chuckle during 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

Athletes have often been tested for the virus and kept in a social bubble that has largely kept the virus at bay, although cases have soared among the Japanese population, now nearly 50 percent vaccinated.

“There were a lot of times when we thought these games couldn’t take place,” Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said Sunday. “There were many sleepless nights.”

Seiko Hashimoto, the Tokyo organizing committee chairman, added: “I believe we reached the end of the games without any major problems.”

A record number of athletes – 4,405 – took part in the games, including 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.

“Had it not been for the Covid-related issues, they would have been right on or near the top of the best-organized of the 19 Summer and Winter Olympics I’ve attended.”

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