Glasgow welcomes Scotland's Olympic and Paralympic heroes
Published by Simon Gwynn on Thu 13 Sep 12 @ 15:59
Details of the homecoming celebrations to honour Scottish Olympians and Paralympians have been announced.
The celebrations take place on Friday, 14 September, and have four main components: beginning at the iconic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the parade then takes the athletes from the West End, through the city centre to the celebrations at George Square, after which the athletes, their guests, and dignitaries enjoy 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 the ideal location for these celebrations.
Most of the Scottish Olympians and Paralympians have already confirmed their attendance, including Sir Chris Hoy, Katherine Grainger, Glasgow's Michael Jamieson, and Neil Fachie.
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison 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 exactly 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 parade they truly deserve."
Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland, said:
"These celebrations are a fitting tribute for all of the Scottish athletes in Team GB and ParalympicsGB, and are a great opportunity for the people of Scotland to salute them for their tremendous efforts.
"Scotland is rightly proud of our athletes who delivered the highest medal tally in the history of the Olympics and have already secured 10 medals at the Paralympics, surpassing the eight won four years ago in Beijing.
"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 make 2014 the most successful ever Commonwealth Games."
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:
"This city loves sport and I know Glasgow will give our Olympic and Paralympic heroes a welcome they will never forget.
"Scottish athletes like 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 here in Glasgow 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."
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 2012 Olympic Games, surpassing Sir Steve Redgrave's total of five gold medals.
"Every member of Team GB has inspired a new generation to take up sport and we hope that with Glasgow bidding for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, this will continue."
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of ParalympicsGB, said:
"ParalympicsGB is delighted that Scotland will be recognising its Paralympians that took part in London 2012, along with fellow Scots on Team GB. The public support for our athletes has been quite phenomenal and it will be great for them to be able to celebrate their significant achievements in front of their home supporters.
The celebrations commence at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, where there will be a media and photo-opportunity with the athletes.
The athletes then travel 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, there will be a stage, large screen, and entertainment, all orchestrated by MC Jill Douglas. Scots in Team GB and ParalympicsGB will be invited up to the stage to engage with the crowd.
Dignitaries attending include 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 will be 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.
The street parades are not ticketed and entry to George Square, which has a 17,000 capacity, will be on a first-come basis.
Scottish athletes won a record-breaking 13 medals at the London Olympics, and (at the time of issuing) have recorded 10 medals at the Paralympics, already exceeding our target by surpassing the eight medals won at Beijing.
Itinerary of events: (all times are approximate)
3.30 - 4pm - Photo-opp and media opportunity with athletes and dignitaries at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
3.30pm -Celebration begins at George Square, which is not a ticketed event and will be open to the public until the capacity of 17,000 has been reached.
4.15pm - Parade departs north side of the Kelvingrove Museum building (riverside) and travels along Glasgow's West End, arriving at George Square at approximately 5.15pm. The City Centre is expected to be very busy during the Parade - the west end of Sauchiehall Street is likely to be a quieter section of the route for more comfortable viewing.
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