September 26, 2012, Victoria, BC – With the London 2012 Games only a few weeks past, Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches living and training in Greater Victoria were feted with well wishes at a special welcome home ceremony at Centennial Square today.
Celebrated for their commitment to represent Canada, more than a dozen of Greater Victoria’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches were given the heroes’ welcome they deserved by the public and school-aged youth who had gathered in the Square. Everyone in attendance had the opportunity to enjoy a physical lunchtime and try a number of different sports, get autographs from the athletes and coaches, and enjoy live music.
“We are honoured to have the opportunity to welcome home and congratulate our Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches,” said City of Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin. “Their hard work and commitment to sports is remarkable and leaves an excellence legacy for our community — inspiring youth to get involved in local sport, believe in themselves, and perhaps one day represent Canada on the world stage.”
Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard also offered his congratulations to the athletes saying “We are all very proud of their accomplishments and how well they represented us in London. Saanich is a big supporter of sport excellence and is pleased to be home to several great training locations for the athletes at UVic, Saanich Commonwealth Pool and PISE.”
This special London 2012 Welcome Home event was co-organized by Canadian Sport Centre Pacific, the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) and the City of Victoria.
The athletes and coaches in attendance included:
- Gabe Bergen, 2012 Olympic silver medallist (rowing, men’s eight)
- Andrew Byrnes, 2012 Olympic silver medallist and 2008 Olympic gold medallist (rowing, men’s eight)
- Gillian Carleton, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist (cycling, team pursuit)
- Ryan Cochrane, 2012 Olympic silver medallist and 2008 Olympic bronze medallist (swimming, men’s 1500m freestyle)
- Lindsay Jennerich, 2012 Olympian (rowing, lightweight women’s doubles)
- Stacie Louttit, 2012 Paralympian and 2008 Paralympic bronze medallist (sailing, two-person mixed SKUD class)
- Brent McMahon, 2012 Olympian and 2004 Olympian (triathlon)
- Meghan Montgomery, 2012 Paralympian and 2008 Paralympian (rowing, adaptive coxed four)
- Brianna Nelson, 2012 Paralympic two-time silver medallist and 2008 Paralympian (swimming, women’s 50m fly and 200 IM)
- Monica Peterson, 2012 Olympian (fencing women’s foil)
- Hilary Stellingwerff, 2012 Olympian (athletics, women’s 1500m)
- Blake Worsley, 2012 Olympian (swimming, men’s 200m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay)
- Peter Lawless, coach of 2012 Paralympian Michelle Stilwell (athletics)
- Tommy McLeod, coach of 2012 Olympian Riley McCormick (diving)
- Gord Veldman, coach of 2012 Paralympians Brianna Nelson and Jana Murphy (swimming)