Montreal, March 9, 2015 – Canadian Paralympic swimming star Benoit Huot of Montreal received his replacement medals today at a special ceremony held at École Joseph Charbonneau, with students from Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre.
Today’s ceremony hosted by Paralympic champion wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc (Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games) was an opportunity to emphasize the hard work that athletes like Huot put into their sport careers in order to reach the top. Just prior to officially receiving the replacement medals, Huot’s brilliant career was shown to the students.
“I was touched by the public’s support last summer,” said Huot. “I realized my medals meant a lot to them. It shows they are proud of sporting achievements and the hard work and perseverance it represents. I’m very pleased to receive these medals once again. To receive them from kids who have a disability is also very important for me. I hope I can inspire them to pursue their dreams despite their challenges.”
The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) took the necessary steps to have the medals replaced.
“We work with athletes consistently including big sports events,” said Gaétan Tardif, the CPC’s president. “We know what these medals represent for them, their support team and the public. We know those medals can never replace the originals. These reproductions still symbolize the work, fulfillment, integrity, confidence as well as the pursuit of excellence of Paralympic athletes. This unfortunate episode showed how important medals are for athletes. It’s an honor to present them to Benoit today.”
“It’s more than just medals,’’ added Richard Powers, president, Commonwealth Games Canada. “To athletes like Benoit it’s a symbol of personal sacrifice and achieving excellence. To Canadians, especially youth, it’s a symbol of national pride, inspiration and being the best in the world. On behalf of the Commonwealth Games Federation I am pleased to replace the medals that were taken away from Ben and all Canadians.”
This past summer Huot’s house was robbed and among the missing items were seven medals. Five of these medals were :
- Bronze | 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games
- Bronze | 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games
- Silver | 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games
- Gold | 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games
- Gold | 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games
Huot, whose disability is a club foot, is currently preparing for the Parapan American Games scheduled for August 7-15 in Toronto. He is committed to continue his career up to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
ABOUT THE CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca
ABOUT COMMONWEALTH GAMES CANADA
Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) is the international franchise holder for the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth movement in Canada, and an active, contributing member of the Canadian sport community. The mission of CGC is to strengthen sport within Canada and throughout the Commonwealth by participating in the Commonwealth Games and by using sport as a development tool. Visit www.commonwealthgames.ca for information.
Benoit’s bio and photos
Photos of today’s ceremony
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