Hoy to be awarded freedom of city

16 September 2012 / 08:31

Britain's most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy will receive another honour on Sunday when he is awarded the freedom of his home city in recognition of his achievements in cycling.

The six-time gold medal-winning cyclist will join other Olympians and Paralympians on an open-top bus parade through Edinburgh before attending a civic reception where he will become part of an exclusive club made up of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Sean Connery, Nelson Mandela and Burmese democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi, who have received the freedom of the Scottish capital.

Edinburgh city councillors unanimously voted last month to give the honour to Sir Chris. It is granted to people who have distinguished themselves through their work or efforts, or to recognise the respect and high esteem in which they are held by the people of the city.

The cyclist led the official celebrations for all of Scotland's Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Glasgow on Friday. A parade led more than 50 athletes into George Square where they were introduced one by one to a crowd of around 17,000.

The biggest cheer was saved for last when Sir Chris took to the stage. He said: "It's been a day to remember and I just want to thank everyone for turning out.

"It's overwhelming the support the team has been getting, you can't help but be taken away by the whole occasion and all the athletes are saying the same thing."

Afterwards he said he was looking forward to the Edinburgh parade as it would be "even more personal and emotional".

The parade is due to start around 2.15pm and the route will take the sportsmen and women from the City Chambers on the Royal Mile to the Assembly Rooms via the Mound and Hanover Street.

Meanwhile, a parade will also be held in Aberdeen to celebrate Olympians and Paralympians from the north east of the country.

Gold medallists Tim Baillie, Katherine Grainger and Neil Fachie will take part in the public event which is set to run from 10.30am until 1.45pm.