Great Britain’s first silver medallist in the London Games raced through the streets of Elmbridge during the Olympics’ opening weekend.

But, the other stars of the show were the crowds who came out in force on Saturday and braved the pouring rain on Sunday to cheer on the athletes.

The borough’s roads were lined with patriotic spectators, some from as far as Mexico City, and all – including police officers extending high fives to the crowds – were in good spirits.

Esher resident Niall Buchanan said: “When you see it on TV you realise how beautiful the county is.”

His daughter Lottie, 12, said: “I feel quite proud because this is my area.”
Inspector David Hollingsworth said: “It was brilliant. The crowds were all local families and really involved themselves.

“There was lots of noise and it was great chatting to people and being part of the event.”

Even Sunday’s heavy rain was not enough to dampen spirits.

Smiling volunteers threw on the waterproofs and residents soldiered on to cheer on their nation, in what was a once in a lifetime experience for many.

Estimates suggested Elmbridge alone had an extra 1m visitors for the road race weekend.

Angelica Camacho, originally from Mexico City, said: “The atmosphere was amazing and everyone was so friendly.”

Road closures were all up quicker than expected and many affected businesses made the most of the closures, by moving dining tables in to the roads and offering special discounts.

Walton Business Group turned Walton High Street in to a mass party with stalls from restaurants and businesses.

Silver medallist Lizzie Armistead tweeted: “The best day of my life.

“Thank you to the thousands of people cheering who literally got me to the finish line, I’m incredibly proud of GB.”

See our Olympic blogs, days one and two, to see how the events unfolded.