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Freedom of Edinburgh for Sir Chris

Britain's most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy is to be awarded the freedom of his home city.

Edinburgh city councillors have voted to give him the honour.

The cyclist has six Olympic gold medals, two from London 2012.

He will be awarded freedom of the city of Edinburgh at a ceremony later this year. The honour is granted to people who have distinguished themselves through their work or efforts, or to recognise the respect and high esteem in which they are held by the people of the city.

The only living recipients are the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Sean Connery, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. Sir Chris has already been presented with the Edinburgh Award which honours outstanding individuals who have made a positive impact on the city. It was given to him in 2009.

Councillors are considering holding a civic reception and other celebrations such as an open-top bus parade for all Olympians and Paralympians with an Edinburgh connection later in the year.

The vote to award Sir Chris freedom of the city was unanimous.

Lord Provost of Edinburgh Donald Wilson said: "I am delighted that councillors today unanimously supported the motion to grant Sir Chris Hoy the freedom of the city. It is the most prestigious honour we can bestow.

"Sir Chris is an outstanding ambassador for Edinburgh and an inspirational role model for our city's young people, proving that hard work, dedication and sheer determination can help turn natural talent into world-beating success.

"I have written to Sir Chris advising him of the council's decision and very much hope he accepts this honour and that, in due course, we can welcome him to Edinburgh for what will undoubtedly be a wonderful occasion."

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