Customers checking in for British Airways flights at Manchester airport this morning (Wednesday 29th August) found themselves in the middle of a dancefloor, as Strictly Wheels performed sambas, rumbas and cha-cha chas in the departure hall.
Paula Molton and Gary Lyness (who are from Manchester) were last seen performing on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent programme – in fact they missed the auditions for the London 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony because of their commitment to the show – eventually bowing out in the semi-finals.
Surprised passengers travelling down to London joined in the fun as Paula and Gary performed their own opening ceremony to encourage Mancunians to support ParalympicsGB, and get involved in sport. The couple has been dancing for less than three years, but in that time has achieved the status of UK Amateur Champions in both Latin and Ballroom.
British Airways has been highlighting the importance of home support for British athletes and encouraging the nation to get behind Team GB and ParalympicsGB as part of its home advantage campaign. To follow or join the campaign, use #HomeAdvantage on Twitter.
Wheelchair Dancesport isn’t yet a Paralympic sport, but Paula hopes that it could be introduced, and say their dream is to Samba all the way to Rio in 2016.
Paula said: “We love performing and were so excited to share our passion for sport with our fellow Mancunians. We know ParalympicsGB will do us proud and we want everyone to get behind them. We dream that we might one day be in the squad”.
British Airways airport manager Anne-Marie Ryan said: “Over the past week we’ve been privileged to fly a number of teams in and out of Manchester airport as they prepare for the Games. We were delighted that Paula and Gary came in to get everyone warmed up and ready for tonight’s celebrations.”
British Airways is the proud airline sponsor of the Games, and has supported 26 Olympic and 20 Paralympic sports with flights to training camps and competitions. British Airways is also a partner of the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association.
During the Olympic Games more than 400,000 people visited Park Live presented by British Airways at the Olympic Park to watch live sporting action on the big screen. The airline hopes as many will visit the 250 acres of lawns during the Paralympics.