Nottingham City Transport has named two of its buses after local gold medalists from Rio 2016, with a number 8 bus named after Nottingham’s very own Olympic Gold-winning hockey hero, Helen Richardson-Walsh and a Pathfinder 100 bus after gold-winning T42 champion Richard Whitehead!
In recognition of Helen’s outstanding achievement – scoring one of the penalties that secured Olympic Gold for Team GB for the very first time in its history – NCT’s number 8 was a fitting choice, as not only is 8 the number on Helen’s team shirt, but the Green Line number 8 is also regularly caught by Helen’s mum who still lives in West Bridgford!
“As she was brought up in Nottingham and played for West Bridgford Hockey Club, naming our number 8 after her was the perfect way of congratulating Helen on her amazing Olympic win!” said Nottingham City Transport Marketing Manager, Anthony Carver-Smith. “It gives us added pleasure knowing that Helen’s mum also regularly travels on what will now be her daughter’s very own bus!”
At a special ‘unveiling ceremony’ which took place today (Sunday 16 October), Helen said, “I am honoured and thrilled to have a bus named after me in a place that will always be close to my heart. I will be forever thankful for the people of Nottingham, and the great city for giving me the best possible start to my life and sporting career, and I’m delighted to be able to share the success of our Olympic Gold with you all.”
A Pathfinder 100 bus was also unveiled today to honour the remarkable achievements of Richard Whitehead, who lives on the route between Nottingham, Burton Joyce, Lowdham and Southwell.
Richard is a world record holder in full and half marathons and the current Paralympic, World and European Champion in the T42 200m. Having successfully defended his T42 200m World and European titles in 2015 and 2016 respectively, Richard went on to win his second Paralympic Gold medal in the event at the Rio Games. Four days later Richard added Paralympic silver to his Rio medal haul, crossing the line joint second in a dramatic T42 100m final.
At the bus unveiling, Richard commented: “It’s an honour to be recognised by my local community and hopefully will be a reminder that if you are determined then anything is possible.”
Both named buses were centre stage at Nottinghamshire’s celebration of local Olympic and Paralympic athletes which took place at the East Midlands Conference Centre on the afternoon of 16 October, with Helen and Richard arriving on the buses with their fellow team mates who live in the county.
Anthony Carver-Smith added, “Naming our buses to celebrate Helen and Richard after their achievements in Rio is our way of highlighting how proud we are of our local gold medalists! Both Helen and Richard are a credit to Nottinghamshire and the newly-named buses will remind our customers and people across the City of those very special gold-winning days in Rio!”