Part of my morning routine is to sit and watch Breakfast Television in Toronto, check emails and drink my smoothie. I generally have time for about 20 minutes worth, so I don’t always catch the most important news. This morning I was struck by their main story, the return of Canada’s Paralympic athletes. What struck me was the fact that Tammy was the ONLY media at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. I think we all remember a short time ago that there was overwhelming coverage of all of our Canadian athletes as they came home from RIO. There were throngs of family, fans and media outlets. These people were made to feel like heroes for bringing home so many medals from Rio.
What a shame that our Paralympic athletes are coming home to much much less. I think many would agree that it takes so much more drive and determination for a Paralympic athlete to train and overcome obstacles in order to compete. The Sep 15th on-line edition of the Barrie Examiner states: ” As the Paralympics wind down in Rio on Sunday, it’s important to note the top four visually-impaired runners in the 1,500-m race surpassed the winners of their Olympic – and sighted – brethren two weeks earlier.”
Barrie and Simcoe County have a rich history of both summer and winter Paralympic athletes that make us proud, but I think that we’re also guilty of taking our foot off the pedal a bit when it comes to welcoming them home. Let’s work on this. Let’s show our pride! #WelcomeHome is trending on Twitter this morning thanks to the hard work of #BTExtra and #BTtoronto. Come on Barrie, let’s do our part!