Sir Chris Hoy awarded Freedom of Edinburgh

Britain's greatest Olympian speaks of his delight at receiving the city's top honour.

"To be awarded the Freedom of Edinburgh is an incredible privilege. I am absolutely delighted and deeply honoured to be recognised in this way by my home city. I was born and brought up in Edinburgh and I've received so much support from the city in all areas of my life, from school to University and throughout my cycling career.

"I'm very proud to be from Edinburgh and the huge support I've received is an integral part of my success. In particular I want to mention The City of Edinburgh Racing Club, which was the best amateur track cycling club in the UK when I joined in 1994, and was the first step towards where I am today.

"I'm really looking forward to coming home along with my Scottish teammates, so we can say a huge thank you to the public for their continued support, and enjoy the celebrations with friends and family."

Councillors unanimously agreed to award Sir Chris the Freedom of the City at a meeting held yesterday.

Proposals to hold a civic reception and other celebrations, such an open-top bus parade, for all Olympians and Paralympians with an Edinburgh connection were also approved - details of which will be announced once arrangements are finalised.

Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Donald Wilson, said yesterday: "I am delighted that councillors unanimously supported the motion to grant Sir Chris Hoy the Freedom of the City. It is the most prestigious honour we can bestow.

"Sir Chris is an outstanding ambassador for Edinburgh and an inspirational role model for our city's young people, proving that hard work, dedication and sheer determination can help turn natural talent into world-beating success.

"I have written to Sir Chris advising him of Council's decision and very much hope he accepts this honour and that, in due course, we can welcome him to Edinburgh for what will undoubtedly be a wonderful occasion."

Council also recognised the contribution of all of the volunteers, coaches, officials, friends and families who have all played a part in the success of Team GB - and committed to ensuring that those associated with Edinburgh be part of the celebrations.

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