Fan support worth its weight in gold, silver and bronze

Nobody can do it alone. Ask any Olympic athlete and they will tell you, the support of a nation makes all the difference on their journey to excellence. And this past summer, Canada proved it.

“When you are surrounded by so many Canadians, you realize how much support across Canada that you have,” said trampolinist Rosie MacLennan of King City, Ont. “When people are really backing you up, it motivates you.”

Indeed it did motivate the 22-year-old who won Canada’s first gold medal in the sport, inspiring both her teammates and the country.

“You can see (the support) leading up to the Games,” said MacLennan. “It can push you through training days when things might not be going as well and it just keeps you going.”

This same sport proved contagious in London.

Rower Darcy Marquardt, a 2012 silver medallist with the women’s eight team, said her and her teammates were truly moved by the impact of Canadian support.

“It’s really amazing how much love and support you feel from home. It’s overwhelming, but it feels great,” said the native of Richmond, B.C. “It is really humbling, all the messages we’ve all gotten. Emails have been flooding our inboxes.”

As the momentum from London carries on for these athletes, Canadians again have the chance to celebrate and show support for these amazing athletes and their accomplishments.

On Sept. 21, downtown Toronto will host a party to remember that will include an Olympic Heroes Parade. Canadian Olympic Team athletes, Paralympic Team athletes and Olympic Hall of Fame inductees will all be marching through the core of the city.

The parade will start north of Bay and Queen and Olympians will be travelling in cars and by foot to meet and greet fans along the route. The culmination of the event will be at Maple Leaf Square where the celebration will continue with a DJ and with the Canadian pop-rock band Neverest taking the stage for a concert.

With a large crowd expected to attend, this will be another great opportunity for Canadians to show their support and appreciation for the dedication that our athletes give in perfecting their craft.

“To be able to celebrate four years of hard work, and really, an entire career of hard work is amazing. There are a lot of Canadains around and a lot of people excited about Canadian sport,” said silver medallist and swimmer Ryan Cochrane of Victoria, B.C.

“It’s exciting to celebrate sport and it’s exciting to celebrate at this Olympic level.”

The parade begins at 11:30 a.m.

By George Fadel