Award-winning Stanning and Grainger are great Scots

Rio 2016 Olympic heroes Heather Stanning and Katherine Grainger were honoured at the 2016 Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

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Stanning, who successfully defended her title as Olympic women’s pair champion with Helen Glover this summer, was named as Female Athlete of the Year ahead of fellow rower Grainger and cyclist Katie Archibald.

Grainger took home the Lifetime Achievement award after becoming Britain’s most decorated female Olympian by winning her fifth medal at Rio 2016, silver in the women’s double with Vicky Thornley.

“It’s genuinely a massive shock,” said Grainger. “It’s not something I predicted, I didn’t see it coming, so I’m genuinely lost for words which is unusual. It’s the most incredible thing to cap off the most incredible year.”

The Sports Awards came at the end of a day of celebration for Scotland’s Olympians, who also took part in a parade through Edinburgh. Karen Bennett and Polly Swann, silver-medallists in the women’s eight, and Alan Sinclair, Olympic men’s pair finalist, were among those receiving a warm reception.

There were also homecoming celebrations for Yorkshire’s Olympic heroes on Wednesday. Triple Olympic Champion Andrew T Hodge was joined by men’s eight crew-mates Paul Bennett and Tom Ransley on an open-top bus parade through Leeds city centre, along with women’s eight silver-medallist Zoe Lee and Paralympic Champions Grace Clough and Laurence Whiteley.

This Saturday will see men’s eight Olympic Champion Matt Langridge receive the Freedom of Northwich after an open-top bus parade through his hometown.

Alex Gregory, Chris Bartley, Will Satch, Frances Houghton, Katie Greves and Paralympians James Fox and Rachel Morris will also be sharing their Rio experiences at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames from 11am to 4pm that day.

Grainger will be among the Olympians and Paralympians from the Marlow area taking part in a homecoming party at Higginson Park on Sunday. Also attending will be London 2012 Paralympic champion Naomi Riches, who last week became the first woman to row the length of the Thames.

Team GB and ParalympicsGB are staging two national celebrations on October 17 and 18, in Manchester and London respectively. Click here for more information.

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