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Freedom of Eastleigh for Dani King and David Smith
THEIR sporting brilliance was beamed around the world and witnessed by an audience of millions.
Now two Hampshire heroes from London 2012 are set to receive the biggest honour possible from their home town.
Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Dani King and Paralympic silver and bronze medallist David Smith will be offered the Freedom of the Borough of Eastleigh.
David, from Eastleigh, and Dani, from Hamble, were told of the honour at a special London 2012 celebration event at Fleming Park Leisure Centre.
Just 13 others have received the prestigious Eastleigh Borough Council accolade in the last 35 years.
It is the latest honour for team pursuit queen Dani who already has a gold medal around her neck, a celebratory stamp and a postbox painted gold to mark her stunning achievement.
After winning the women’s pursuit and smashing the world record, her name has also been put permanently on the map – as a cycleway in Hamble.
David won gold in boccia during Beijing’s 2008 Paralympics and picked up a further two medals at London 2012.
On Saturday they were joined by Cheryl Hookway, the granddaughter of Eastleigh’s legendary long-distance walker Tommy Green, who famously struck gold at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. Also at the celebration were Chandler’s Ford brothers Adam and David Knott, who represented the nation at goalball, and gymnast Laura Edwards, who narrowly missed selection for Team GB.
The borough council organised the celebration to honour the achievements of local competitors in the sports extravaganza.
The get-together was also open to residents who participated in London 2012 as Games-makers, torch-bearers and officials.
A delighted Dani said: “It is amazing – all these people have supported me throughout my career and it is nice to give something back.”