Glasgow & West Scotland

Team Scotland athletes parade through Glasgow

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Media captionTeam Scotland athletes parade through Glasgow to celebrate their success in the city's Commonwealth Games

The athletes who helped Team Scotland to a best ever medal haul at the 2014 Commonwealth Games have been given a rapturous welcome in host city Glasgow.

Hundreds of athletes are being honoured in the city's George Square in front of a 5,000-strong crowd.

A fleet of lorries transported the competitors from the Kelvingrove Art Gallery through the city centre.

Scotland came fourth in the medal table with 53 medals, winning 19 gold, 16 silver and 19 bronze.

Before Glasgow 2014, the best ever Commonwealth Games total for Scotland was 33 medals.

Image copyright Jon Graham
Image caption A fleet of lorries took the athletes through the city

Almost 200 athletes boarded the open-top vehicles outside Kelvingrove Museum in the west end of the city as crowds gathered, cheering and waving flags as they passed on their way to George Square.

The athletes held signs saying "thank-you Scotland" and were greeted by a round of applause as they were led out of the grounds of Kelvingrove by a pipe band at about 16:15.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Team Scotland members gathered for a photocall before the parade set off
Image copyright Sportscotland
Image caption The athletes are being transported along the route in seven vehicles
Image caption Athletes are thanking the public for their support during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
Image caption Scotland's medal-winning swimmers Corrie Scott and Erraid Davies have been lapping up the attention

Some medal winners, such as Eilidh Child and Lynsey Sharp, were unable to take part in the parade because they are competing at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich.

Others, such as cyclists Neil Fachie and Craig Maclean, judo sisters Kimberley and Louise Renicks and swimmers Ross Murdoch and Erraid Davies, were on board the vehicles.

Kimberley Renicks, who secured Scotland's first gold medal of the Games with victory in the under 48kg judo final, said: "The parade is absolutely wonderful and a really great experience."

Her sister Louise, who also won gold, said: "I think it's also good for some people who maybe didn't get to see any of the Games.

Image copyright Alan Richardson
Image caption The parade ended up in a packed George Square

"There's going to be some people who come here today and get to see some of the athletes, or just waving can put a smile on their face.

"All through the Games it's been smiles all the way so it will be good to finish it with smiles."

Popular boxer Charlie Flynn, who won gold in the lightweight division and became an instant hit with his post-bout interview, also took part.

Speaking before the parade set off, he said: "It's unbelievable, it's time to reunite with everybody again and see all the faces and get that buzz back.

"All the crowd behind you, it's too good. The support is too good.

"I'm looking forward to hearing the roar of the crowd and the fans, and reuniting with the public and everybody and the noise. It's going to be brilliant, I can't wait."

'Well-deserved celebration'

First Minister Alex Salmond described the parade as a "very well-deserved celebration".

"The parade through the streets of Glasgow today is for the athletes of Team Scotland who, with their record medal haul, should rightly have the chance to party with their supporters and celebrate together in the overwhelming success of the Games.

Image copyright Sportscotland

"I am sure that everyone in Scotland will agree that every single member of Team Scotland, not just the medal winners, has done us proud and there is no higher honour than to represent your country on a global stage."

Speaking about the Games, he added: "It showed Glasgow as we would have absolutely wanted this great city to be shown."

Louise Martin, chairwoman of sportscotland, said: "After the record-breaking performances of the athletes, it was wonderful to see people from across Scotland coming out to show their appreciation for what the team achieved during the Games.

"It was a memorable day for all the athletes as they got the chance to say a big 'thank-you' to the whole country for the support they had during an unforgettable 11 days of competition."

Scotland fielded its largest-ever team at Glasgow 2014, made up of 310 athletes, with around 190 including cyclists, swimmers, hockey players and the lawn bowls team enjoying the parade.

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