Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 17:58 UK

Scots' return 'overwhelmed' Hoy

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The Olympic parade wound its way through the streets of central Edinburgh

Triple gold medallist Chris Hoy has said he was "overwhelmed" by the reception on his return to Scotland, as 50,000 lined Edinburgh's Royal Mile.

An open-top bus carrying the four Scots who won medals at the Olympics made its way from a special reception at Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Park.

Scotland's most successful Olympian said it was "fantastic" to be home.

Hoy, 32, was joined by cycling team-mate Ross Edgar, rower Katherine Grainger, and canoeist David Florence.

The views of people cheering on Scotland's Olympic medallists in Edinburgh

The cyclist told BBC Scotland: "To come back home to the reception I've received - it's almost overwhelming. It has been incredible."

"It is fantastic to be back home in Edinburgh and see my friends and family again.

"It is just the craziest sensation to have all these people pointing cameras at you and wanting to shake your hand and give you congratulations. It is an amazing feeling."

Hoy added that it was also positive for so much media attention to be centred on a "minority sport" and hoped it would inspire more youngsters to participate.

Edgar, 25, who clinched silver in the men's Keirin, described winning the medal as "the biggest thing that's ever happened in my life".

He added: "Just to be in the same era as Chris, it's an amazing thing.

"When I crossed that line, I was just so happy that I had come away with something from the Games and to do it with Chris as well was really amazing."

olympic parade

Rower Grainger, 32, picked up her third silver medal in three consecutive Olympics.

She admitted that the prospect of the 2012 Games was a "draw".

She said: "There's still a gold to be won."

Canoeist Florence, 26, spoke of the moment he took a silver medal in the men's slalom.

He said: "That final run, to be honest that's the easy part. It's before you start the run, that is the tough part."

The Aberdeen athlete continued: "As soon as you start the run, you are doing what you are used to doing day-in day-out.

The four athletes emerged from Edinburgh castle to huge applause from a crowd of waiting well-wishers.

Chris Hoy: "It's fantastic to be back"

A bagpiper played as the sportsmen raised their arms and cheered.

They climbed aboard a red open-top bus, their medals hanging around their necks, and the vehicle set off down the Royal Mile.

Cheering crowds packed the pavements as the bus rolled past.

Louise Martin, chair of sportscotland, said: "The achievements of the four Scottish medallists will hopefully inspire and motivate our young people to take part in sport and physical activity and engender the belief that they too can succeed."

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "The Scottish Government's overriding priority is to see an increase in sporting participation rates throughout Scotland and the success of our four medallists can only be a major influence on our young people and help inspire the heroes of tomorrow."


SEE ALSO
Massive crowds greet Olympic bus
27 Aug 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
In Pictures: Medallists' parade
27 Aug 08 |  In Pictures
Edinburgh defends cycling plans
26 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Hoy slams closure of city track
25 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Olympic parade for Scottish stars
22 Aug 08 |  Scotland

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