24 AUGUST 2008

Click here for a gallery of Britain's Olympic gold medal-winners

After one of the biggest medal hauls in the country's Olympic history, Britain's competitors had good cause to party on Sunday. Smiling and laughing, the athletes were in high spirits as they took part in the Games' spectacular closing ceremony.

Leading the way was Edinburgh boy Chris Hoy. The gold medal-winning cyclist was chosen to carry the Union flag into the Bird's Nest ceremony. "It is a huge honour," said the modest sportsman, who climbed on the winner's podium three times. "When you consider the standard of the team it is a very special honour for me."

Young Tom Daley was given a vantage point to watch the thrilling display of colour, light, fireworks, music and dance. The 14-year-old diver, Britain's youngest competitor, sat proudly atop another athlete's shoulders so he wouldn't miss the action.

Back in Britain, giant screens around the country beamed the event live to thousands. Outside Buckingham Palace, singer and TV presenter Myleene Klass was just one of many at a giant party celebrating the handover of the Olympics to London.

Team GB leaves Beijing fourth in the winner's table with a total of 47 medals - 19 gold, 13 silver and 15 bronze – making the Games the country's most successful for a century.

And there was one special message of congratulations for the team. The Queen sent her well dones to Beijing, saying their "golden triumphs" would inspire the London Games.

Photo: ©
With his hat-trick, Chris became the first Briton to win three medals in a single Olympic games since Henry Taylor in 1908Photo: © Getty Images Click on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Team GB's youngest competitor makes sure he doesn't miss out the excitement as he marks the end of his first Olympic Games high on top of another athlete's shoulders Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
Flying the flag back in London, Myleene was part of the celebrations marking the handover of the OlympicsPhoto: © Getty Images
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