Sir Chris Hoy is being awarded the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh at The Assembly Rooms this afternoon. He arrived there for the ceremony on an open top bus along with other Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and accompanied by The Lord Provost carrying a large umbrella on the top deck of the bus. The rain did not put off the crowds which are estimated around 30,000 along the route from the City Chambers to George Street.

There are only a few people alive who have this honour bestowed upon them and they include Her Majesty The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Sean Connery, Nelson Mandela and Burmese political campaigner, Aung San Suu Kyi. So this is not an honour bestowed lightly.

The Olympic cyclist has won six Olympic gold medals and one silver medal, clinching his final two medals this year in London, and has 11 World Championship titles to his credit too. But it is as an Edinburgh schoolboy at George Watson’s College that Chris set out on the road to athletic supremacy, first of all trying out rowing as a junior winning a silver medal in the British Championships, and then joining the track cycling club, The City of Edinburgh Racing Club. So he is held dear in our hearts as an ambassador of our capital city, and for this the council decided this summer to award him the Freedom of the City. 

For now there will be no other chance to photograph him today as the ceremony is taking place in the Music Hall in the newly renovated civic building. We will add our photos here as they become available!

A full biography of Sir Chris Hoy can be found on his website.