Celebrate the great! Fans invited to come face to face with Scotland's Olympic and Paralympic heroes
Fans will have a terrific opportunity to meet Scotland’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes at a special event in the city centre later this month.
This will be a unique occasion for residents and visitors to ‘celebrate the great’ Scots on TeamGB and ParalympicsGB by taking photos and mixing with Rio’s Scottish heroes at homecoming celebrations organised by the City of Edinburgh Council and sportscotland.
The public celebrations in the afternoon will see more than 50 athletes, including many of the medallists, at 3pm in Festival Square as part of a packed day of events on Wednesday, 28 September to celebrate their outstanding achievements.
At lunchtime the athletes will be welcomed at Oriam, the new Sports Performance Centre at Heriot Watt University. That evening, they will be the guests of honour at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
The Festival Square celebration has been devised to enhance the homecoming day after the City of Edinburgh Council agreed a motion put forward by Lord Provost Donald Wilson on 25 August. It asked for sportscotland to work with the Council to extend their national celebrations to include ‘a public show of appreciation’ for athletes.
Depute Lord Provost Steve Cardownie will welcome the athletes to Edinburgh on 28 September on behalf of the city. He 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 28 September will demonstrate the city and country’s pride in what these athletes have achieved.”
Chair of sportscotland Mel Young said: “Scottish athletes have performed exceptionally well with our Olympians recording their greatest ever overseas Games and our Paralympians currently also enjoying success in Rio.
“The homecoming celebrations throughout the day will be a wonderful occasion for the Scots on Team GB and ParalympicsGB. The event in Oriam, Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre, brings together athletes with children and young people from across Scotland as well as from local clubs and members of the public.
“Working in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, the event in Festival Square allows the public to show their appreciation and support for the athletes’ dedication and achievements.”
Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, added: “The combined achievements of this year’s TeamGB and ParalympicsGB athletes has been truly outstanding. Scotland’s heroes have played a major role in their success and every one of them deserves a warm welcome home.
"The Festival Square celebrations will offer an opportunity for fans to meet the athletes, get their photos and autographs and ultimately inspire a new generation of sporting stars to follow in their footsteps.”
Paul Bush OBE, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said: “Team Scotland is delighted to be playing its part in the recognition of the fantastic achievements of Scots on Team GB and ParalympicsGB. The presence of the athletes at the inaugural Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards in the evening will be a fitting finale to the wonderful athlete centred celebrations planned in Edinburgh."
More details on the celebrations in Festival Square (3-4pm) will be released closer to the event.