Published Thursday, 25 October 2012
Mary Peters carrying the Olympic flame ahead of the 2012 Games. (© LOCOG)
The 73-year-old - who won pentathlon gold in 1972 - will be awarded for her work to promote sport in Northern Ireland and further afield over the past 40 years.
A motion calling for her efforts to be recognised will be brought before the city council later this week and is expected to receive cross-party support.
Pat McCarthy, who is proposing the move, said it is long overdue.
"This is the highest honour that Belfast can bestow on any person," said the SDLP member.
For Mary it is not about politics it is about sport. This is something that is long, long overdue
"It is not being given because Mary just won a gold medal 40 years ago, for me, it is because she has tirelessly undertaken work to promote sport among young people and has raised substantial funds to help young people compete. And, many of those that she has helped have gone on to compete for Team GB and for Team Ireland."
Dame Mary, who was born in Halewood near Liverpool in 1939 before moving with her family to live in Co Armagh, competed in three Olympic Games and five Commonwealth Games starting from the age of eighteen.
In recent years she has set up the Mary Peters trust for young athletes.
A statue of the sportswoman is also expected to be erected at the Mary Peters Track in south Belfast following renovation works at the site next year.
The freedom motion will go before Belfast council in November.
It reads: "This Council recognises the tremendous contribution made to the life of the city by Dame Mary Peters.
"Over the past 40 years she has served as an ambassador for Belfast across the world and has been tireless in her efforts to promote sport and the benefits it brings to young people.
"Accordingly, in recognition of this service the council agrees that Dame Mary Peters is hereby elected and admitted as a Freeman of the City of Belfast."
The last individual to receive the Freedom of Belfast was poet John Hewitt who died in 1987.