Canadian Olympic athletes come to Montreal to thank supporters and show off their medals
by Alison Henstridge
The city of Montreal paid one last tribute to the athletes of the 2010 Olympic Winter games with a parade that took place in downtown Montreal last Friday
Just two months after the closing of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Olympic and Paralympic athletes paraded through the streets of downtown Montreal dressed in their red and white Team Canada apparel all the while showing off the medals that they won.
The parade, which began on the corner of Fort and Saint-Catherine at 11:30 a.m. had hundreds of proud Canadians lined up behind metal barriers, cheering on their favourite athletes. It was a sea of red and white everywhere along Saint-Catherine and Olympic fever was back in town for one last time.
Among the athletes in the parade were acrobats from Cirque du Soleil dressed in gold, silver and bronze walking on stilts, bagpipe players and marching bands as well as torch bearers who let some members of the audience hold their torches.
Some of the athletes had their predecessors walking alongside them in the parade, which was highlighted by Rochette walking alongside her St-Leonard figure skating club.
Fans had their Olympic memories revived when Alexandre Bilodeau, who was accompanied by Joannie Rochette drove past the crowd along St. Catherine street.
Flags were proudly waving and horns accompanied the already screaming crowd while children were sitting with posters of their idols and waiting for them to come by in hopes of getting an autograph.
While athletes waited to be called up on stage, fans were given an hour to get autographs and pictures with their favourite Canadian athletes.
‘’I got a picture with (the captain of the men’s Canadian hockey team Scott) Neidermayer and an autograph for my brother and I,’’ said Kristin McNamee, a sixth semester North-South student.
The parade ended at Phillips-Square at around one o’clock, where a presentation of the athletes was held and broadcasted live by CTV, CBC, RDS and other Canadian news and sports networks.
The 2010 Olympic games were Canada’s strongest as they finished third in the standings with 14 gold medals, seven silvers and five bronzes for a total of 26 medals. The Paralympics athletes also had a good Olympics as they got ten gold medals, five silvers and four bronzes for a total of 19 medals.