Plans To Celebrate Scots Athletes

16 September 2016, 14:46

Scotland's Olympic and Paralympic stars will meet fans at a public celebration in Edinburgh later this month.

The new event has been organised after Edinburgh Council called on sportscotland to work with them to extend the national celebrations to include a "public show of appreciation'' for the athletes.

It comes after plans to hold a homecoming event for Scotland's Olympians in front of an audience of 400, instead of repeating the bus parades held after London 2012, provoked criticism.

Now, more than 50 athletes, including many medallists, will meet the public in Festival Square in the city centre on September 28 for an hour-long event starting at 3pm.

Depute Lord Provost Steve Cardownie said: "I'm delighted that our discussions with sportscotland mean there will be an opportunity to share in the success of Scotland in Rio.

"The event in Festival Square will honour the phenomenal achievements of our Scottish Olympians and Paralympians this summer.

"Edinburgh is extremely fortunate to have over 50 athletes all in the city on the same day, so this really is a unique opportunity for the public to mingle with their heroes and meet them face to face.

"The many different events planned in the city on September 28 will demonstrate the city and country's pride in what these athletes have achieved.''

Earlier that day, the Rio stars will visit Oriam, the new sports performance centre at Heriot Watt University, for a homecoming ceremony in front of an audience of schoolchildren, sports volunteers and members of the public.

That evening, the stars will be guests of honour at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Mel Young, chair of sportscotland, said the new Festival Square event "allows the public to show their appreciation and support for the athletes' dedication and achievements''.

Rio 2016 was Scotland's most successful overseas Olympics, with Scottish competitors securing 13 medals - four gold, seven silver and two bronze.

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

Rower Katherine Grainger's silver medal made her Britain's most decorated female Olympian.

Scots athletes on the ParalympicsGB team have won 12 medals so far - four gold, six silver and two bronze.

Libby Clegg secured half of the gold haul with her two medals on the track while Jo Butterfield won gold in the F51 club throw while Karen Darke took gold in the cycling H1-3 time trial.