2012 Olympians and Paralympians honoured in Calgary

CALGARY – Four members of the London 2012 Canadian Olympic Team and 11 members of the London 2012 Canadian Paralympic Team were presented Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals in a ceremony today.

Recipients include London 2012 Olympians James Steacy (Athletics), Heather Steacy (Athletics), Inaki Gomez (Athletics), Monique Sullivan (Cycling) and London 2012 Paralympians Danny Snow (Goalball coach), Jaye Milley (Cycling), Brayden McDougall (Cycling), Zachary Madell (Wheelchair Rugby), Shane Esau (Swimming official), Morgan Bird (Swimming), Stephen Bach (Wheelchair Basketball Canada President), Earle Connor (Athletics), Alister McQueen (Athletics), Ozzie Sawicki (Equestrian official) and Kirstie Kasko (Swimming), received their medals from Prime Minster Stephen Harper in Calgary.

“This has been such a great year,” said 2012 Olympic hammer thrower Heather Steacy. “To be able to go to the Olympic Games with my brother and to share this honour with him will truly be something I remember for a lifetime.”

“It was quite amazing to be part of today’s memorable ceremony. I was especially touched to be presented with the same medal my grandfather received years ago,” said 2012 Paralympic cyclist Jaye Milley, whose grandfather was bestowed the same honour in the late 1970s for his work as National President with Big Brothers of Canada.

“This is one of the proudest moments of my life,” said two-time Olympic hammer thrower James Steacy. “The reception in Canada since our arrival from London has been incredible and to be here with my sister and receiving the Diamond Jubilee medal from Prime Minister Harper is something I will never forget.”

“Representing Canada at the Olympic Games in London was one of the proudest moments of my life,” Sullivan said, who posted her career top result in London. “Receiving this medal and meeting Prime Minister Harper is an incredible moment for all of us who put in so much effort into proudly representing our country. I sincerely hope the accomplishments of all athletes at the Olympic Games will inspire a generation to participate in sports and physical activities, especially in cycling where the health benefits are endless.”

“Our Olympic and Paralympic athletes represented the best of what our country has to offer over 31 days this summer,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Their performance in the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in London demonstrated the best of what it means to be Canadian, and we are all very proud of them.”

“These Canadians are part of a very special group who inspired our nation this summer as they gave their everything in London,” said Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut. “Our Olympians’ determination, sportsmanship and patriotism have proven them to be some of Canada’s greatest ambassadors and they truly represent what it means to be Canadian.”

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. During the year of celebrations, 60 000 deserving Canadians will be recognized.