Athletes to be recognised

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Plans are being made to celebrate the historic achievements of Aberdeenshire athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

If Aberdeenshire were an independent country, the two gold medals its athletes have won so far would leave it sitting at a respectable number 28 out of 63 countries, ahead of Canada, Spain and Switzerland.

Tim Baillie, from Westhill, was the first Aberdeenshire athlete to make it onto the medal tables, winning gold in the canoe C-2 slalom with partner Etienne Stott on August 2.

Rower Katherine Grainger, who grew up in Netherley, followed close behind, winning gold in the women’s double sculls event a day later.

Young Inverurie swimmer Hannah Miley has also excelled at her first Olympic games, coming fifth in the 4x200m freestyle relay, fifth in the 400m individual medley and finishing seventh in the individual 200m medley.

Footballer Kim Little was part of the Great Britain women’s football team which made it to the quarter finals of their competition, while Jonathan Hammond made it to the qualifying rounds of the Men’s 50m rifle event.

Preparations are now under way to celebrate the historic successes of Aberdeenshire’s athletes in the home Olympic games.

Plans are at an early stage, as the event will also include and pay tribute to competitors in the London Paralympic Games which begin in 22 days and end on September 9.

The Provost of Aberdeenshire, Cllr Jill Webster, said: “All of the Team GB athletes have performed extremely well at this, our home Olympic Games. I am very pleased that competitors from Aberdeenshire have played such a prominent role in Great Britain’s place so high up the medal table.

“While the Games are still ongoing, and the Paralympic Games are yet to be held, we have started planning what we hope will be a major celebration into the achievements of these talented and hard-working people.

“We want to give the people of Aberdeenshire a chance to join the celebration of our region’s involvement in what has been a historic event for Great Britain.”