City parade to honour Olympians

GLASGOW is to welcome home Scotland's Olympic heroes in a spectacular parade to celebrate their success at London 2012.

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Today, the route our Scottish Olympic and Paralympic heroes, including cyclists Sir Chris Hoy and Neil Fachie, rower Katherine Grainger and swimmer Michael Jamieson, will take through the city on Friday September 14 was revealed.

Thousands of people are expected to cheer them on as they travel from the West End to the city centre.

At George Square they will be greeted by a jam-packed programme of entertainment, led by BBC TV sports presenter Jill Douglas.

Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said: "We saw some remarkably talented Scottish athletes compete in this year's Olympics and achieve a record-breaking medal haul.

"The Paralympics have now got off to a great start, with many medals already on the table.

"This is why people from all over Scotland should come to Glasgow to watch the parade, celebrate our athletes' achievement in style and give them the homecoming they truly deserve."

Starting at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the procession will take athletes from the West End to George Square.

After that they will attend a reception hosted by First Minister Alex Salmond at the Old Fruitmarket.

The Merchant City venue was the scene of celebrations in 2007 when Glasgow won the right to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "I know Glasgow will give our heroes a welcome they will never forget.

"Sir Chris Hoy, Katherine Grainger and our own Michael Jamieson have written themselves into the history books as part of Team GB – and the excitement that we have all shared this summer is only going to grow as we get closer to 2014.

"People are going to want to come from across the country to be part of that; to line the streets to show our team how proud we are of every one of them."

Access to George Square, which holds 17,000 people and will have a stage, large screen and entertainment, is not ticketed and crowds will be allowed in on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The street parades are also not ticketed.

Louise Martin, chairwoman of sportscotland, said Scotland was "rightly proud" of its athletes.

She said: "These celebrations are a fitting tribute for all of the Scottish athletes in Team GB and Paralympics GB, and are a great opportunity for the people of Scotland to salute them for their tremendous efforts.

"There is a terrific sporting momentum from the London Games' success, and we will build on that in the run-up to Glasgow 2014, where Team Scotland is aiming to host the most successful ever Commonwealth Games."

Andy Hunt, chief executive of the British Olympic Association and Chef de Mission for Team GB, said: "Scottish athletes contributed 13 medals to Team GB and deserve to be celebrated in style.

"No one more so than Sir Chris Hoy who became the most decorated British Olympian of all time by securing another two gold medals at the London Games, surpassing Sir Steve Redgrave's total of five gold medals.

"Every member of Team GB has inspired a new generation, and we hope that with Glasgow bidding for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, this will continue."


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