Comment: ‘Athletes will see what they mean to us’

A celebration is set to be held in Festival Square.
A celebration is set to be held in Festival Square.
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Scott Quin won’t forget 2016 in a hurry – and neither will we.

After the disappointment of missing out on the London Olympics by the narrowest of margins, the Warrender swimming star picked up a silver medal in Rio with a magnificent swim. Agonisingly, he was within the length of a fingernail of claiming gold.

It was a fantastic achievement for the boy from Loanhead who can now look forward to sharing the stage with our other Olympic and Paralympic heroes at their official homecoming celebrations. That will be another special day for Scott who is still basking in the glory of his beloved Hibs lifting the Scottish Cup in May.

It is wonderful that SportScotland has listened to public opinion and opened up its homecoming event on September 28 to the wider public. The event in Festival Square which will now preceed the more formal proceedings at the Oriam is a great way of celebrating their achievements.

There is sure to be a real party atmosphere when the athletes mingle with the crowds in the square. Sports fans will love the chance to get up close and personal with the athletes they stayed up half the night to watch smashing records in Rio. And of course no party these days is complete without the obligatory selfies so including time for mobile phone photo opps is a lovely touch.

What is clear from hearing from the heroes of London 2012 is that the athletes will enjoy it all as much as the rest of us. Being an Olympian is often a lonely business. Getting up at 5am to go for a run around Arthur’s Seat or to put in the lengths at Warrender baths or the hours in the gym is not glamourous – it’s tough. But all those who made it to Rio went through that slog.

What they achieved lit up our summer and inspired us. Yet these stellar achievers don’t really appreciate how much it meant to us to see them do that. They will on 
September 28.