COC photo: Bayne Stanley

Athletes share Christmas spirit

VANCOUVER – B.C. athletes, whose Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Team careers span generations, gathered Sunday to take part in the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade as honorary parade grand marshals.

“When the seasons change and people still care, it’s really great,” said 2012 silver medallist rower Doug Csima. “The kids look up to us, so it’s great to give back to the community.”

“This really helps to inspire people,” said 2012 bronze medallist swimmer Brent Hayden. “You don’t only have to be the best in sport, just try to be the best in whatever you do.”

“I’m just really happy to be here and be able to influence others,” said 1976 Olympian rower Joy Fera.

“Canada has a lot of pride,” two time Olympian wrestler David Hohl (1992, 1996). “To be involved and active in the Olympic movement is really important.”

“It’s so nice to be with my fellow Olympians again,” said two-time Olympian (2008, 2012) swimmer Julia Wilkinson. “It’s cool for the young kids to see us and be inspired.”