Sarah and Barney Storey

Olympians from Cheshire East have been honoured with the “Freedom of the Borough” to celebrate their success.

Athletes such as Beth Tweddle, from Bunbury near Nantwich, and Ben Ainslie, from Macclesfield, were granted the freedom at a ceremony in Congleton.

Cyclist and Strictly Come Dancing star Victoria Pendleton was also honoured, alongside Paralympic cyclists Sarah Storey and Barney Storey (pictured), Craig MacLean, and Paralympic sailor Niki Birrell.

Cheshire East Council staged a special council meeting in Congleton Town Hall to confer the Freedom of the Borough on the medal winners.

Sarah Storey, of Disley, said: “It’s incredible when you get honoured so close to home around the people that have supported you the most.

“There’s no greater way to end a year. Cheshire East means a lot, we train and are based up here, so it’s a lovely accolade.”

Barney added: “The road to Rio starts now. We have to look at areas to improve. It’s like starting a new job, a four-year job!”

Cheshire East Mayor George Walton said: “It’s a massive honour to give the freedom to our own Olympic and Paralympic heroes.”

The athletes will also have streets named in their honour, which is to be discussed by councillors.

(pic courtesy of Staffslive)

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