Gatineau – Department of Canadian Heritage
The Government of Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees, today hosted more than 250 Canadian athletes and coaches in Ottawa and Gatineau to celebrate their achievements at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The day kicked off with sport fairs at the University of Ottawa and the Centre sportif de Gatineau, where Olympians and Paralympians engaged local elementary school students in various sport activities to encourage physical activity and sport participation. The morning also included Facebook Live sessions with athletes and students from across Canada.
The athletes and coaches then attended a luncheon hosted by the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, where they received their Olympic and Paralympic rings, presented by Teck and Hillberg & Berk. Petro Canada representatives also made a special presentation of the James Worrall Flag Bearer Awards to Rosie MacLennan, David Eng and Penny Oleksiak (Aurélie Rivard was unable to attend the event).
Finally, the athletes and coaches were welcomed into the House of Commons to be honoured by all members of Parliament, who represent all Canadians across the country. The House rose in extended applause as each athlete paraded across the floor, an honour reserved for only very special guests.
“On behalf of all Canadians, the Government of Canada is proud to host our Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and their coaches to celebrate their accomplishments this past summer. The performances of every member of Team Canada made us proud, and now we have the chance to thank them and celebrate the impact they have in inspiring all Canadians, especially our young people, to enjoy the benefits of sport and recreation activities.”
-The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
“It has been a blast getting to celebrate Canada’s achievements with so many Canadian fans and supporters today. The majority of the time we compete and train in a bubble away from the bright lights and cheers of the Games, so getting to come out here and connect with our fellow Canadians who have been behind us the whole way really is the cherry on top of everything. Thank you to Teck for the beautiful rings and thank you to everyone who has supported Team Canada.”
-Derek Drouin, two-time Olympian, two-time Olympic medallist (gold and bronze), Athletics
“It’s been so rewarding to be here today with my teammates to share our success and experiences with kids and parliamentarians. An athlete’s success is only made possible thanks to the support of our coaches, community and country, and today was a perfect mix of all those. Thank you to the Government of Canada for supporting Canadian athletes and making today’s events possible.”
-Katarina Roxon, three-time Paralympian, Paralympic gold medallist, Swimming
“Rio 2016 was Canada’s best-ever performance, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our country’s Olympians who showed us what being Canadian is all about. Congratulations on such an outstanding Games. Thank you to all the students and the Government of Canada for helping our country’s athletes celebrate their Rio success in such style.”
-Tricia Smith, President, Canadian Olympic Committee
“To all our athletes and coaches, congratulations and well done. Team Canada’s athletes are outstanding role models for all Canadians. Our thanks to the Government of Canada for today’s fantastic celebration events and the opportunity to help our athletes connect with schoolchildren and inspire the next generation of champions.”
-Gaétan Tardif, President, Canadian Paralympic Committee
·The Team Canada Rio 2016 Athlete Celebration included:
o 141 Olympic athletes, including 22 medallists, as well as 30 coaches; and
o 75 Paralympic athletes, including 17 medallists, 10 competition assistants and guides, 12 coaches and 4 service animals.
At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Team Canada won 22 medals (4 gold, 3 silver, 15 bronze), matching our country’s best-ever performance at a non-boycotted summer Games, from Atlanta in 1996.
At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Team Canada finished with 29 medals (8 gold, 10 silver, 11 bronze) to rank 14th among nations in the total medal count, surpassing the team’s performance goal of top 16.