Scottish cities compete to host Olympic homecoming parade
A POLITICAL row has broken out between Scotland’s two biggest cities, over who should play host to the Olympic medalist’s homecoming parade.
The Scottish Government revealed today that the London 2012 heroes, including six-time Gold medal winner Sir Chris Hoy and rowing champ Katherine Grainger, will receive an unforgettable welcome home when they arrive back in Scotland.
Scottish athletes from Team GB will be invited to take part in a victory parade to honour their Olympic and Paralympic glory, but the location of the parade has still to be announced.
After the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Scottish athletes travelled down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile on an open top bus with thousands of fans lining the streets to cheer them on.
But with Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014, a fierce debate has started between Edinburgh and Glasgow over who should host this year’s parade.
Sandy Howat, SNP councillor for Meadows / Morningside, argued Edinburgh would be the ideal location for parade.
He said: “Without meaning to spark an Edinburgh / Glasgow debate I think the parade should be in Edinburgh because it is the capital city and because of Sir Chris Hoy’s Olympic triumph, it just makes sense.”
But his SNP counterpart ,Cllr Malcolm Balfour, from Drumpchapel / Anniesland in Glasgow said the parade should be held in Glasgow.
He said: “I think the parade should be held in Glasgow. It would be excellent publicity for Glasgow and excellent publicity for the Commonwealth Games. If Chris Hoy could come to the Chris Hoy Velodrome it would be ideal – and anyway Glasgow is the most beautiful city in the world.”
SNP Sports Minister Shona Robison, confirmed today that plans were underway to mark the “fantastic” achievements of Scotland’s home-grown stars.
She said: “Scottish athletes have already put in their best ever Olympic performance, a fantastic record that can only inspire our Paralympians.
“We are already developing plans to honour all of the Scottish Olympians and Paralympians and further details will come in due course.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said they were still “working on the plans” for the parade, in which “all the public could be involved”.
Although he refused to comment on the proposed location of the celebration, he did say it would be in a city.
After the Beijing Olympics, Scottish athletes including Katherine Grainger and Chris Hoy travelled down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile on top of an open top bus before attending a reception at the city’s castle.
The Scottish Government spokesman denied that tram works could put the organisers off having the parade in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh Council deputy leader Steve Cardownie said the council was looking at ways to celebrate the Scottish Olympians.
Cllr Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion, said: “The Council is currently looking at ways for Edinburgh to mark the achievements of our Olympians and Paralympians.”
A spokesman from Glasgow City Council refused to comment on whether the council would push for the parade to be held in their city, saying “I think that is a question you would need to ask the Scottish Government as it a decision that they will be making.”
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