Glasgow salutes Scotland's Olympic heroes
Published by Simon Gwynn on Tue 25 Sep 12 @ 10:25
Tens of thousands of Glaswegians have paid tribute to Scotland's 2012 Olympian and Paralympian heroes.
The city hosted a breathtaking celebration of the spectacular sporting summer enjoyed by millions across the country.
Among the Scottish Olympians and Paralympians greeted by massive crowds throughout the streets of Glasgow were Sir Chris Hoy, Katherine Grainger, Glasgow's own Michael Jamieson, and Neil Fachie.
The official tour had four main components: beginning at the iconic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the parade then took the athletes from the West End, through the city centre to the celebrations at George Square, after which the athletes, their guests, and dignitaries enjoyed a reception hosted by the First Minister Alex Salmond in the Old Fruitmarket.
As an Olympic City, currently bidding for the Youth Olympic Games in 2018, and hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014, Glasgow is a destination for top-class sporting events and was the ideal location for these celebrations.
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Stuart Patrick said: "It was fitting that Glasgow, 2014 Commonwealth Games host, was home to Scotland's homecoming for our Olympic and Paralympic heroes.
"These extraordinary athletes have generated a real sporting momentum which will provide the perfect platform for Glasgow to continue and build upon in the run-up to 2014. Beyond that, it is a further example of the city's unique sporting appetite and passion which can only help our bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
"However today was all about celebrating London 2012 and the achievements of all Scots Olympians and Paralympians who took part - Glasgow is very proud of their commitment, their dedication and their success."
The celebrations commenced at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the athletes then travelling from the West End to the city centre on three 7.5 tonne wheelchair-friendly, flatbed vehicles, with the parade culminating at George Square.
At George Square, a stage, large screen, and entertainment - all orchestrated by MC Jill Douglas - provided the setting for the Scots in Team GB and ParalympicsGB to take to the stage to engage with the crowd.
Dignitaries in attendance included the First Minister Alex Salmond, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison, sportscotland Chair Louise Martin, sportscotland Chief Executive Stewart Harris, Lord Provost of Glasgow Sadie Docherty, Leader of Glasgow City Council Gordon Matheson, and BOA Chairman Lord Moynihan.
The final component of the athletes' homecoming was a reception hosted by the First Minister at the Old Fruitmarket - the scene of jubilant celebrations in 2007 when Glasgow was announced as the winner of the bidding process to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Scottish athletes won a record-breaking 13 medals at the London Olympics, and 11 medals at the Paralympics.
- Glasgow Chamber of Commerce is encouraging all member businesses and their staff to back Glasgow's official bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games via www.glasgow2018.com
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Photography courtesy of Ian Watson / Glasgow City Council