Freedom of Edinburgh right way to show pride

SNP MSP Jim Eadie has called on all Edinburgh councillors to back moves to mark the incredible Olympic success of Edinburgh cyclist Sir Chris Hoy by awarding him the freedom of the city.

Moves have begun to award the cyclist this honour, with a report set to go before the full council for a decision later in the year.

The Edinburgh-born athlete yesterday bagged his fifth Olympic gold medal and also holds a silver Olympic medal, putting him at the top of the all-time UK medal table.

There are currently five living people who have received the Freedom of Edinburgh; the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Nelson Mandela, Sir Sean Connery, and Aung San Suu Kyi.

After lodging a motion calling on all Edinburgh Councillors to back to move, SNP MSP Jim Eadie, who sits on the Health and Sport Committee Co-convener of the Cross Party Group on Cycling, said:

“Chris Hoy’s achievements have inspired so many people across Scotland to cycle more and take up sports, that it’s only right that we recognise the incredible impact he has had on Edinburgh.

“He has achieved more than any other UK Olympian and hopefully still has more success to come. As a city we should mark what he has achieved by awarding him the highest honour that Edinburgh can bestow.

“With Glasgow recognising his success by naming their Commonwealth Games velodrome after Sir Chris Hoy, it is surely high-time that we recognise him in his home city.

“Giving Chris Hoy the freedom of Edinburgh would be a fantastic step and send a strong signal about just how much pride residents of the city take in his victories.

“He is one of the greatest ambassadors for Edinburgh there has ever been and I sincerely hope that Edinburgh’s councillors will be unanimous in their decision on whether to award Chris Hoy the freedom of the city.”