Starting from Nathan Phillips Square heading all the way to Maple Leaf Square just outside of the Air Canada Centre, Canada’s Olympians and Paralympians from this summer’s Olympics were commemorated and applauded by scores of Torontonians.
Under gray skies, athletes, who were under a microscope for one month in London, returned to centre stage as they were given an Olympic Heroes Parade
on Friday. Approximately 200 athletes were on hand for the 11:30 a.m. parade, including gold medal trampolinist Rosie MacLennan.
Bystanders congratulated the men and women, schoolchildren were waving signs and the athletes shook hands with the crowd, gave hugs and even took some autographs. Mayor Rob Ford briefly walked along Bay Street near city hall and shook hands with the public.
“The Olympic Games are such a large event, and happens on such a big scale, that it’s difficult for some of these kids to connect personally to it,” said 2012 Olympic Beach Volleyball player Martin Reader in a press release
. “It’s really important for us to be ambassadors for international sport, and for our sports, to bring these kids in tune with our athletics, with our passion, our determination and everything that sport involves for us.”
“It’s really fun seeing the kids and seeing them look up to Olympic athletes. You can tell that they’re excited about something and they just want to learn what’s going on in sports,” said 2012 Athletics Olympia Elizabeth Gleadle in a media release
. “It’s about sport and it’s about promoting healthy active living and how living that kind of lifestyle can lead to great things, like going to the Olympic Games.”
Canada placed 13th in the Summer Olympics
: one gold medal, five silver medals and 12 bronze medals for a total of 18 medals. The total number was same from four years prior at the Beijing games
, but Canada moved up in the rankings from the 15th spot.