Paralympian seeks return of stolen medals


MONTREAL – Paralympic swimming legend Benoit Huot is looking to the public for help after several of his medals were stolen from his Montreal-area home Saturday night.

Huot has been training with the national team in Richmond, B.C., in preparation for the Pan Pacific Para-swimming Championships. He had moved many of his belongings to a locked garage at his recently purchased home, which is undergoing renovations.

His father discovered Sunday morning that there had been a break-in and several items had gone missing overnight. In addition to items such as a TV and home furnishings, at least one of his 19 Paralympic medals was among the stolen goods, as well as three from Commonwealth Games and three from Parapan American Games.

“The other stuff, they’re replaceable, but not the medals,” Huot said. “It has no (monetary) value attached to it pretty much. It’s all sentimental and emotional and that’s it. These are things I want to give to my kids.”
Huot is asking anyone with information to contact the Longueuil Police Department at (450) 463-7011.

“It is disgraceful and shameful that a person would steal mementoes such as these,” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. “Swimming Canada is calling on that person to return the medals, and we ask them to contact the Longueuil police as soon as possible to make arrangements. Benoit worked so hard to earn these medals as a representative of Canada. The most important part is that they are returned to him.”

Huot is an internationally recognized athlete, especially in his hometown of Montreal, not only for his athletic excellence, but for his community involvement and as a tireless spokesperson for the Paralympic movement.

“What an unfortunate incident to have happen to one of the most decorated Paralympians of all time,” added Martin Richard, Executive Director, Communications and Marketing for the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

“These medals symbolize the many years of Benoit’s hard work and dedication in the pool as well as the inspiration it brings to future generations. We hope that they will be returned to their rightful owner.”

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