"Homecoming" Planned For Scottish Athletes

The success of Scotland's Olympians is to be celebrated with a homecoming event in September.

Plans are being finalised to mark the achievements of Rio medal winners including Katherine Grainger and Callum Skinner at Scotland's new sports performance centre Oriam, in Edinburgh.

The event on Wednesday September 28 will take place 10 days after the end of the Paralympics and will include an audience of school children from around the country, sports volunteers and members of the public, rather than a bus parade.

The event has a capacity of 400 but it will also be streamed online, sportscotland said.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh for open-top bus parades after the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics to celebrate a record medal haul for Scottish athletes.

Rio 2016 has been the most successful "away Olympics'' for Scottish competitors, with 12 medals won so far.

Scots won a total of 13 medals at London 2012 but the previous record at an overseas Games was seven at Sydney 2000.

Andy Murray was the fourth Scot to win gold after cyclists Skinner and Katie Archibald and rower Heather Stanning.

Skinner also claimed a silver medal, as did rowers Polly Swann and Karen Bennett, canoeist David Florence and rugby players Mark Bennett and Mark Robertson.

Rower Grainger's silver made her Britain's most decorated female Olympian, while swimmer Duncan Scott won two silver medals in relay races, the first coming with fellow Scots Stephen Milne and Dan Wallace.

Sally Conway took bronze in judo.

Murray defended the tennis gold he won in 2012 with victory over Juan Martin del Potro but it is unclear if he will be able to attend the Oriam event as he is scheduled to compete in the China Open from October 3.

However, the 29-year-old will be in Glasgow for the Davis Cup tie with France from September 16 and is hosting an exhibition event at The Hydro the following week, so he could mark his recent Olympic and Wimbledon triumphs with home fans then.

Sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris said: "It has been a remarkable performance from the Scots to win 12 medals and have 15 medallists. This represents the most successful overseas Games for Scots on Team GB and everyone in Scotland can be very proud of their success.

"It's testament to all the hard work by the athletes, sports, coaches and the collaboration between UK Sport and the sportscotland institute of sport that Scottish athletes are delivering record-breaking performances on the Olympic stage.

"At sportscotland we are working with our partners to build a world-class sporting system linking schools, clubs and performance sport to ensure that those inspired by the achievements of our sporting stars have a clear and sustainable pathway in place to help them achieve their own potential.

"The homecoming celebrations will provide a fitting tribute to the Scottish Olympians and Paralympians, and where better to have the post-Games event than at Oriam, Scotland's brand new, world-class national performance centre.''

A total of 50 Scottish athletes travelled to Brazil for the Games and all that can make it are expected to take part in the homecoming event.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "With nearly two days' competition still to come this is already among the most successful Olympics ever for Scottish athletes, and of course we still have the Paralympics to come.

"All of Scotland's Team GB sportsmen and women have done the country proud. I hope their performances will help to inspire the next generation of Scottish Olympians and Paralympians.''

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