Two representatives of Harper Macleod are celebrating sporting debuts with a difference in Brazil as Rio hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Wheelchair racer Samantha 'Sammi' Kinghorn, our 20-year-old Athlete Ambassador, has been selected for the Team GB Paralympic squad and will fly out to Brazil in late August before the event begins on 7 September.
Meanwhile, firm Chairman Professor Lorne Crerar has just successfully completed his role as part of the disciplinary team for the Olympic Rugby Sevens tournament – the first time rugby has featured at the Games since the 15-a-side game was included in 1924.
Sammi, 20, from the Scottish Borders has been an ambassador of Harper Macleod, the law firm with offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Lerwick, since 2013. She will compete in the 100m, 400m and 800m races in Rio in the T53 category. As the current European record holder over these distances and a bronze medallist at last year's World Championships, she has a real prospect of making her mark on the biggest stage to date.
Speaking at a special 'Road to Rio' event held at the Harper Macleod Club Deck at the Glasgow Warriors' Scotstoun Stadium, Sammi said: "I didn't know whether to scream or cry when I found I had been selected. On one hand it was such a relief, especially as my mum and dad had already booked their tickets to Brazil! My mum was relieved and my dad was just ecstatic. It also feels incredible, even that I don't have to say 'hopefully' any more when I'm talking about the Paralympics.
"Harper Macleod has been supporting me for so long now and I wouldn't be where I am today without that backing. I always try my best, but for those who support me I always want to do that little bit more to show that I'm worthy of all the help I get. I'm very lucky to have so many people believing in me, believing that I can achieve the things that I've been dreaming. I aiming to make the finals of my events in Rio and just see what happens from there."
Professor Crerar is on his way back from Brazil after carrying out his duties as Appeals Officer for the Rugby Sevens tournament - one of the highlights of the Games so far. The Harper Macleod Chairman was on hand to review any player appeals against disciplinary decisions and rule on whether or not the sanctions are justified, increased or decreased.
The role was another highlight in a distinguished career in rugby discipline for the Harper Macleod founder, who has officiated at four Rugby World Cups, including being Judicial Officer for the past two Finals. His 20-year career in rugby discipline includes being Chairman of the disciplinary panels for the SRU, 6 Nations and European Rugby Cup.
He said: "I'm delighted to see Sammi achieve her dream of becoming a Paralympian. She's been an inspiration to us all for the past three years and everything has built up to her reaching these Games. I know she'll do fantastically well and it will be the first of many Games in her career..
"For me it's been a great honour to play a part in what was an historic event as far as rugby is concerned. I've done most everything in the world of rugby discipline but it feels pretty special to be part of the Olympic family. It has been my first time in Brazil and has been an intense and interesting experience to sample the atmosphere of the first ever South American Olympics."
Harper Macleod is also an Official Sponsor of Glasgow Warriors, whose star centre Mark Bennett was part of the 12-man Team GB Rugby Sevens squad in Rio.