A golden homecoming

North-east Olympians and Paralympians at Haddo House for a civic reception to mark their achievements at London 2012.
North-east Olympians and Paralympians at Haddo House for a civic reception to mark their achievements at London 2012.

The North-east’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes returned home to an ecstatic welcome on Sunday.

Thousands of people turned out in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to pay tribute to the achievements of the local repesentatives at a never-to-be-forgotten London 2012.

It was a day to remember as the athletes and medal-winners paraded along Union Street and then out to Westhill in an open-top bus before travelling to Haddo House and more crowds for a civic reception.

Before boarding the bus the athletes, including Inverurie swimmer Hannah Miley and Paralympic cyclists Neil Fachie and Lora Turnham, representing Ythan Cycling Club, met fans and signed autographs for young and old alike.

Gold medallist Neil said he was “overwhelmed” by the support they had received. He added: ““The Paralympics was taken to the heart of millions across the UK. It is just a great honour to be here and share it all with you guys.

“We’ve got a responsibility as athletes to keep going out there and keep encouraging kids.”

Aberdeenshire Provost Jill Webster had urged the residents of Aberdeen City and Shire to turn out and celebrate the hard work which had gone into making the Olympic and Paralympic Games such a huge success.