Page last updated at 20:50 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

Town's freedom for Olympic stars

Sam Hynd and Rebecca Adlington
Hynd and Adlington have brought golden glory to Mansfield

Olympic and Paralympic swimming gold medallists Rebecca Adlington and Sam Hynd have received the Freedom of Mansfield at a special ceremony.

District councillors in the Nottinghamshire town voted unanimously in September to grant the swimmers the highest honour the council can bestow.

Adlington, 19, won Olympic gold in Beijing in the 400m and 800m freestyle.

Hynd, 17, won gold in the S8 400m freestyle event in the Paralympics. Both swimmers live in Mansfield.

Hynd also won a bronze medal in the SM8 200m individual medley.

Both swimmers are also members of the Nottinghamshire-based Nova Centurion Swimming Club.

'Fantastic ambassadors'

Mansfield's executive mayor Tony Eggington said: "We were delighted to host a send-off event for our Olympians and Paralympians in June this year but could never have imagined at that time what Rebecca and Sam in particular were going to go off and achieve.

"Both in and out of the pool, Sam and Rebecca are fantastic ambassadors for our district and a credit to themselves, their families and Mansfield.

"We could not have wished for two greater role models for our young people to follow, or two more fitting recipients of the Freedom of Mansfield."

Adlington and Hynd formally received the Honorary Freedom of the District and accepted an illuminated scroll with the Common Seal of the Council at a ceremony at Mansfield's Civic Centre.

Only a few people or groups have been awarded Mansfield's Freedom of the District, including the Cantamus Girls' Choir and the Second Battalion of the Mercian Regiment.

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